Islamophobic attacks largely ignored in UK

According to editor of The Muslim News Ahmed Versi, Islamophobia in Britain is not given the necessary amount of attention. He claims that Islamophobic attacks in Britain will continue to rise until there is a wholesale change in attitudes, including new legislation against religious hatred.

“It will get worse unless something serious is done to curb this,” warned Versi, who has been reporting incidents of attacks and abuse against Muslims for more than 20 years and presented many papers at conferences on the issue. “Lack of legislation is the problem – we have only small number of cases of racism and anti-Semitism because they are protected by laws and are outlawed,” he said.

Recent incidents included arson attacks on mosques and other Islamic institutions such as charities. Individuals have also been harassed or violated, students on campus for example, particularly veiled women, who had their head scarves or face veils removed by attackers. Verbal abuse labeled Muslims as “Osama bin Ladin” or “Terrorists” and extended to insults such as “You Paki go home”.

Despite the scale of attacks and abuse, there are very few reports on the issue by national media.

Over 30 Radio Ramadan stations have popped up this month

For Britain’s 1.7 million Muslims, tuning into Radio Ramadan has become an important part of the holy month of fasting and prayer. This year, some 30 stations across Britain have been granted a temporary licence to broadcast around the clock for 32 days on issues of belief, daily life, entertainment and politics.

Broadcasts, phone-ins and panel discussions range from spiritual matters to advice on education, anti-smoking campaigns, tax matters and current world conflicts. This year, the escalation of the conflict in Afghanistan and its effect on Pakistan are expected to be uppermost on the minds of listeners, contributors and panelists. But phone-in sessions also deal with everyday concerns. Health experts are on hand to advise listeners on the effects of a “guilty cup of coffee” during Ramadan, on how to handle fasting and breastfeeding, or how to enjoy the benefits of yoghurt during Ramadan. Weight loss is traditionally a big theme.