9 March 2013
Tell MAMA (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks), an official hotline established in February of 2012 with the intent to help quantify instances of anti-Muslim violence, found that of the more than 630 incidents reported in the hotline’s first 12 months of operation, the majority of victims were women.
58% of the incidents reported to Tell MAMA targeted Muslim women. Most of these incidents were characterized by the hotline as “abusive behaviour,” with 74% of these acts perpetrated online. The majority of public physical assaults were characterized as “random” in nature and directed primarily toward women wearing Islamic clothing.
The majority (54%) of the perpetrators were linked to far-right groups such as the English Defence League (EDL) and the British National Party (BNP). Of the instances reported, three-quarters of the perpetrators were men with an average age between 21 and 34.
These results emerge in the wake of a Chatham House report which found wide support for the claim that Islam and Muslim communities pose a threat to the nation.
The first results recorded by Tell Mama shocked Fiyaz Mughal, the hotline’s coordinator, who issued a call to public officials to combat what he referred to as a “shameful wave of fear and prejudice.” Currently, only the City of London police and the Metropolitan police record anti-Muslim crimes separately, a practice Mr. Mughal would like to see expanded. 2,000 hate crimes directed towards various religious communities in England, Northern Ireland, and Wales were reported to police officers in 2011, though officials are unable to determine exactly how many of those were perpetrated against Muslims.