BBC reporter Catrin Nye was in the midst of talking to a Muslim student about Islamophobia when a passerby hurled anti-Muslim comments at them.
Nye was recording with 23-year-old Ruqaiya Haris for BBC Two’s “Victoria Derbyshire” show and discussing the thousands of anti-Islamic tweets that have surfaced everyday during the last month. The rise in hate tweets has been observed following the terror attack in Nice, France.
However, Islamophobia has been rampant in most parts of the U.K. and USA following the Brexit and several incidents of terrorism, such as the Orlando shooting and Paris attacks.
In the video a man from the back, who introduced himself as Paul to the crew, can be heard saying “There’s no Sharia law here yet.”
“It doesn’t really matter what I say, or what I’m writing about, or what I’m posting about. The responses after some kind of terrorist attack will always be slating Islam in some kind of way — or insulting Islam, or insulting me, or insulting my hijab,” Haris said. “Even if I’m talking about something totally unrelated. Even if I’m sending condolences to the victims.”
The Islamophobic man sitting beside the reporter and Haris apparently had a hard time keeping his voice down during the recording.
“We’re losing our right to freedom of expression. We’re being told to be politically correct, when we don’t want to be politically correct,” the man sad.
Haris and Paul got into a back and forth about Islam and Muslims.
Interestingly, he considers Islam to be “an ideology rather than a religion.” Then the man goes on to add that he didn’t know much about Muslims. That’s probably where the problem is. While Paul thinks sharia law is rigid and doesn’t comply with Western ideas, it is actually flexible and can be adjusted depending on circumstances.
Haris kept her cool as she explained to Paul that his view of Islam was a result of the things happening around the world.
Speaking to Nye, she said that it was sad how Islamophobia has become so normalized that a Muslim can’t sit in a park and talk to someone without having an Islamophobe trying to get a word in. However, she explained that sometimes talking to such people was worth it, since they struggle to differentiate between everything they read and see on the news.
At the end of it all, it is important to note that Islam in no way supports terror attacks, and is not synonymous to the extremism taking place in many countries.