UK Hate Crimes: British Muslims suffer as EDL spreads Xenophobia across England

by
Fatimah Mazhar
At the end of April this year, an elderly Muslim man named Muhammad Saleem was brutally stabbed to death in Birmingham while returning home from a mosque. According to reports, the attack was so violent that the blows penetrated to the front of his body. West Midland police detective said that there was a high possibility that the attack was racially motivated. The speculation was grave but the case wasn’t pursued as such by the media.

UK Hate Crimes

At the end of April this year, an elderly Muslim man named Muhammad Saleem was brutally stabbed to death in Birmingham while returning home from a mosque. According to reports, the attack was so violent that the blows penetrated to the front of his body. West Midland police detective said that there was a high possibility that the attack was racially motivated. The speculation was grave but the case wasn’t pursued as such by the media.

Following the dreadful Woolwich attack this month, more than 100 protesters belonging to the far-right group English Defense League (EDL) took to the streets in a demonstration against Islam and its followers. Frequent anti-Muslim hate speech began to emerge online as well as on the streets of UK.

Yet again, the teachings of Islam became questionable. Muslims on the whole became a ‘threat’ to the Western world for many. And this notion has become a huge problem for Muslims as a community, especially in the UK where the attack on the soldier took place.

The EDL fueled anti-Islamic sentiment in the country and yet again, the tradition of associating religion with terrorism followed.

Almost two years ago during the infamous London riots, when the EDL was accused of planning attacks on mosques and Muslim community living in the UK, the news was barely reported and no religious associations were made despite the fact that the far-right group is said to have separate factions for Jewish and Christian members.

In 2011, Anders Behring Breivik who bombed government buildings in Oslo and shot 69 people was a Christian Islamophobe. He was later sent to a preventive detention after he was diagnosed with a personality disorder. There are also examples of crazed lunatics like Adam Lanza, Jared Loughner, James Holmes and the notorious U.S. organizations called the Ku Klux Klan that perpetrated mass shootings and terrorism.

The point being made here is that none of the people and organizations (EDL and Ku Klux Klan) have any common religious association. It was mostly the demented mentality that led to violence and that is exactly what has happened in the Woolwich attacks.

If video games and novels can create a mass shooter then we can assume that anything, that appears unlikely to become a source of violence, can cause a person to commit murder. The man who killed the soldier is as severely mentally ill as any of the killers mentioned above. Saying that Islamic teachings are responsible for the attacks is like saying the Swastika was responsible for the massacres committed by Hitler.

It’s the depraved, insane and crazed mental status that leads to such killings. It’s only an unstable mind that convinces the body to take a knife and force it to go through the flesh of another person’s body. Even all the psychologists and psychiatrists of the world would agree that it takes a deranged lunatic to commit a murder or mass murder. And an even more deranged lunatic who gives an interview to the international media after carrying out a brutal murder.

So we can safely say that the EDL is not ‘Jews or Christians’ committing acts of violence but rather it is a group of crazy people who like to create unrest. Ku Klux Klan was not a combination of ‘Protestant’ terrorist groups but it was composed of mindless people who were addicted to terrorism. Anders Behring Breivik was not a ‘Christian’ who wanted to cleanse his country; he was (literally) a lunatic who wanted to kill people with a gun. And definitely it must’ve been a psycho who brutally stabbed a helpless 70-year-old Muhammad Saleem. Right?

Someone rightly put it in the following tweet:

It’s necessary that we shun these religious associations because these notions usually lead to even more violence. And that is exactly what is happening in the UK where the rest of the Muslim community is suffering. The Guardian reported that ‘fears of prolonged backlash against Muslims have intensified after dozens of Islamophobic incidents were reported in the wake of the murder of the British soldier Lee Rigby. The Tell Mama hotline for recording Islamophobic crimes and incidents recorded 38 incidents over Wednesday night, including attacks on three mosques, with more reported on Thursday.’

It’s about time that the hate speech against Muslims was stopped. And the government of UK has taken an initial step by arresting Twitter and Facebook users who are propagating anti-Muslim hate online. British police is arresting people in the middle of the night if they have made any racist or anti-Muslim comment on the internet. So far, according to reports, three men have been taken into custody for spreading malicious speech.

It’s a good step indeed but then again, an overall change in the mentality is needed. After all, it is what leads one to commit hate crimes eventually.

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