Islamophobia in the United Kingdom refers to a set of discourses, behaviours and structures which express feelings of anxiety, fear, dislike, prejudice, hostility and rejection towards Islam or Muslims in the United Kingdom.
Islamophobia can manifest itself in many ways such as discrimination in the workforce, negative coverage in the media, disparity in treatment, inequality of opportunity and more obviously, violence against Muslims.
In recent times we have seen crimes committed that have been motivated by hate of Islam and Muslims. Examples of such crimes have been arson attacks against mosques, anti-Muslim graffiti, anti-Islam hate campaigns on social media, vehicle ramming into Muslim gatherings, acid attacks and the forcible removal of head coverings worn by Muslim females.
Islamophobia can be found in crimes that involve violence to more subtle elements such as discrimination and inequality. NAMP works with the NPCC, CoP and other national and local organisations to raise awareness and to provide support to the police service. This helps ensure that such crimes are recorded correctly and the sensitive needs of the victims are considered during investigation.
The NAMP definition of Islamophobia
“Islamophobia encompasses a range of negative perceptions and attitudes towards Muslims. This may be expressed as a prejudice against and/or hatred towards Muslims. Islamophobia may take the form of rhetorical, physical or discriminatory behaviour and directed towards Muslim or non-Muslim individuals, the wider Muslim community and/or Muslim property.”
Islamophobia frequently links Muslims to terrorism, and it is often used to blame Muslims for issues within society. It is expressed in speech, writing, visual forms and action, and employs sinister stereotypes and negative character traits.
Contemporary examples of Islamophobia in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to:
- Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Muslims in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.
- Calling for, aiding, or justifying damage or destruction of property such as Mosques and other religious establishments in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.
- Making deceitful, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Muslims such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about all Muslims being terrorists.
- Accusing Muslims collectively of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Muslim person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Muslims.
- Accusing Muslims collectively of being supportive of terrorist organisations and other illegal practices such as FGM.
- Rhetoric which links Islam to terrorism and/or terrorist activity.
- Using the symbols and images associated with classic Islamophobia (e.g., illustrations of Muslims carrying bombs) to characterise Muslims.
- Holding Muslims collectively responsible for the actions of a government in a country where Muslims form the majority.
- Treating Muslims less favourably due to perceptions driven by negative stereotypes of the Muslim community.
Criminal acts are Islamophobic when the targets of attacks, whether they are people or property (such as buildings, schools, places of worship and cemeteries) are selected because they are, or are perceived to be, Muslim or linked to Muslims.
Islamophobic discrimination is the denial of opportunities or services for Muslims, which are available to others.