Muslim woman racially abused when trying to help disabled pensioner park their car

A Muslim woman, who wears the hijab, was racially abused by a woman who refused her request to allow room for a disabled man to park his car at a health centre in East London.

The incident took place around lunchtime on November 21.

Other racist comments included that she should ‘go back to India’ and ‘get out of my country’, that she ‘stinks’, and that there are ‘too many of her kind’ living here.

The perpetrator then compared her ‘superior’ white skin, adding that the Muslim woman’s skin looked like ‘sh*t’.

Despite a plethora of witnesses, the racist woman then called the police, maliciously suggesting that she had been the subject of abuse.

Tell MAMA has documented several spurious examples of counter-allegations from perpetrators given more credence by those in authority. As our annual report for 2017 cautioned: “victims of ongoing anti-Muslim incidents from neighbours, colleagues or peers are often labelled as ‘troublemakers’ or ‘attention seekers’ and are frequently met with counter-allegations which are often given more credence due to institutional discrimination within civil society organisations or private companies”.

The report adds: “Due to institutional discrimination and personal bias, individuals from minority ethnic groups are often disadvantaged when they engage with law enforcement agencies,” and extends to concerns around the misuse of stop-and-search powers and disproportionately in the use of counter-terror powers, notably at ports and airports.

Expectation about how the police will investigate hate crime has, as one some major report revealed, the negative far outweighed positive interactions, due, in part, to interpersonal biases or negative attitudes from officers towards their identity. A thread explored in previous Tell MAMA reports also.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) provides a helpful breakdown of incidents of hate crime, where the aggravating factor has increased the punishment for offenders. But nationwide, a gap remains between identifying those who commit racially and religiously aggravated offences.

Having spoken to the woman in this anti-Muslim and Islamophobic incident, however, Tell MAMA has reported it to the Metropolitan Police on their behalf and will continue to monitor the situation.

Tell MAMA has shared their story with their informed consent, agreeing to anonymise the location of the incident and their identity.

She described the racist woman as being in her mid-to-late-thirties or early forties.

In 2018, 28 per cent of verified incidents reported to Tell MAMA occurred in public areas.


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Categories: hate crime, London, News

Police investigate unprovoked racist assault on Muslim teen

West Yorkshire Police are investigating a vicious, unprovoked racist assault on a Muslim teen, resulting in injuries their parents described as making them ‘cringe’.

Speaking to Tell MAMA, the family member, who wishes to remain anonymous, described how a group of three white males in their late teens (of a similar age to the victim), had harassed him and shouted “oi” and “come over”, and when the Muslim teen declined and began to walk away, one the men attacked him from behind.

The sustained assault lasted for several minutes until two passersby intervened and the perpetrators fled the scene.

The assault occurred at around 18:00 GMT in the Bradford area, Tell MAMA is withholding further details of the location to protect the identities of those affected.

His injuries included severe bruising to one of his eyes, cuts, and other contusions, which resulted in lumps on their forehead, which were x-rayed and assessed in A&E.

The family have expressed concerns that West Yorkshire Police are not treating the assault with the seriousness required, and Tell MAMA is monitoring the situation closely.

In 2018, Tell MAMA verified 98 assaults, a slight reduction on the 2017 figure of 149, but remains the second-largest incident category offline, the largest being abusive behaviour (n=400, 54 per cent). We analysed the trends in language, finding several themes: terrorism, paedophiles, hatred of foreigners, blame, competition, insulting/derogatory remarks about Islam, and expressions of confidence by the perpetrator that no punishment will follow.

You can get advice from our confidential and free helpline on 0800 456 1226. Or through our free iOS or Android apps. Report through our online form. Or contact us via WhatsApp on 0734 184 6086.

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Categories: assault, Bradford, News, West Yorkshire Police

Passenger intervenes after Muslim man threatened and called a paedophile in front of their children

A passenger on a busy Central Line train intervened to stop the racist and Islamophobic harassment of a Muslim man after they were threatened and falsely accused of being a paedophile in front of their young children.

Speaking to Tell MAMA, the witness described boarding a train towards Holborn station on November 6, when he overheard the comments which included statements that included, “people like you are molesting children in our country”, “get out”, and turning their attention to one of the men’s children, asked: “does your dad rape you?”

The Muslim man was then threatened with murder and told ‘if your children weren’t here I’d kill you’.

Which, at this point, the witness intervened, adding that the Islamophobic and racist passenger should leave the Muslim family alone and ‘shut up’ before exiting the train to report the incident, as it was his stop to leave.

When speaking to a member of Transport for London staff (TfL), he found them to be rude, and more interested in regulating the train service, despite expressing his fears for the safety of the Muslim man, and requesting that they get in contact with the British Transport Police (BTP), which was followed up with a radio request.

The man added that he contacted BTP himself and raised his concerns to TfL on social media.

Tell MAMA will be writing to TfL to make a complaint about this member of staff on their behalf.

The male perpetrator was described as being in his forties, white, who spoke with a regional accent.

In the Tell MAMA annual report for 2018, it warned that: “The framing of child sexual exploitation that broadly blames Muslim men, and by extension, their religion, is not just reflected in the views of social media users who display far-right ideologies, sympathies, or proclivities, and gained more mainstream credibility in 2018. One tweet verified by Tell MAMA falsely claimed: ‘Muslim men in the UK make up to 3x of the population but commit close to 90% of the total grooming gang rape convictions’. There are ongoing debates around the ethnicity of perpetrators of group-based CSE, of over-representation, ‘shoddy’ research, and data collection methods”.

It was also in 2018 that a Muslim man was almost run over by a racist van driver who went on to falsely accuse them of being a paedophile and was later found guilty of common assault and ordered to pay a fine of £800 in March 2019.

Tell MAMA continues to educate members of the public about how they safely intervene when hate crimes or hate incidents occur – from calling the police on behalf of individuals, consoling victims when the perpetrator(s) leave and offering reassurance, and, as in this example, to challenging the perpetrator when safe to do so.

You can get advice from our confidential and free helpline on 0800 456 1226. Or through our free iOS or Android apps. Report through our online form. Or contact us via WhatsApp on 0734 184 6086.


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Categories: hate crime, News, TFL

Lord Pearson promotes the Muslim birthrates conspiracy on Sky News

The enduring racist myth that Muslim birth rates are soon to replace ‘native’ populations reappeared on television yesterday, after Lord Pearson, formerly of UKIP, spread the falsehood that the Muslim birthrate ‘in this country is going up ten times faster than ours’.

Adam Boulton, the presenter of All Out Politics on Sky News, was correct to identify this as ‘us and them’ politics.

It’s also a form of politics unbecoming and undeserving of such a large media platform.

Lord Pearson’s central claim first appeared during a debate in the House of Lords on December 7, 2017, which referenced a “Muslim takeover of our society, at least in our major Muslim conurbations” and includes the misuse of census data.

While it is true that the Muslim population has more than doubled in a decade, the census question on religion and non-belief is of self-identification, Lord Pearson, for example, ignores the continued growth of atheism and non-belief, declining Christian belief, and how just over half of those (55 per cent) surveyed by the National Centre for Social Research believe in a God figure more broadly.

The demographics argument shifts to Muslim children outnumbering non-Muslims, which is true in some areas, like Washwood Heath in Birmingham (86 per cent) but untrue in like Bristol, for example, there were three times as many Christian children (aged 0-17) as Muslim, per the 2011 census data.

Such an argument echoes that of the Daily Mail in 2017, which ran the alarmist headline: “The changing face of Britain: A child in Birmingham is now more likely to be a Muslim than Christian”. Buried further in the article, however, was the admission that: “The figures show that Christianity is still the dominant religion in every local authority area in England and Wales, even in the most culturally diverse towns and cities”.

Again, there is a fundamental and crucial difference between birth rates and self-identifying with a religious belief like Islam. Conflation is a dangerous gambit.

Racist conspiracies about birth rates were behind the terroristic murders of 51 Muslims in Christchurch, which went on to inspire other forms of racist terror in Germany, the United States, Norway, and a sleepy English suburb.

Lord Pearson, in this House of Lord’s speech, also invoked the racialised and Islamophobic conspiracy of Taqiyya, an enduring obsession in many far-right networks and online spaces.

Baroness Williams of Trafford rebuked his remarks on Sharia law, adding it has no legal jurisdiction in England and Wales, as Lord Ahmed also challenged some of the unfounded claims from Lord Pearson.

During his appearance on All Out Politics, Lord Pearson admitted, “I’m not a great expert on Islam, although I’ve been studying it for seven years”, but advocated that Muslims in Britain practice a ‘mild’ form of their faith, and referred to the Prophet Muhammad as a ‘violent warlord’.

Tell MAMA identified in its recent annual report how such language causes deep upset and harm to Muslims, given that many seek to emulate his teachings in daily life. The report adds: “To understand why such language is so hurtful to Muslims, in particular, is to understand that Muslims believe that Muhammad was God’s final messenger who  gradually  revealed the religion of Islam, who, in his lifetime, was an administrator, commander-in-chief, a teacher, and prayer leader for the burgeoning Muslim community. Therefore, ordinary Muslims view him as a model of God’s grace and salvation, and the greatest and highest of role models as many strive to emulate his teachings in their daily lives”.

For all of Lord Pearson’s obsessive interest in Muslims and Islam in the UK, he avoids discussing how structural racism and discrimination harms Muslims in education and employment – from being denied job interviews, to the ‘Muslim penalty’ which hinders access to the salariat, to teachers holding stereotypical or low expectations of their Muslim students, with non-Muslim teachers reluctant to engage them, according to the Social Mobility Commission, incidents of racism and Islamophobia further damaged the confidence and self-esteem of young Muslims, resulting in some Muslims leaving university early, or not gaining ‘good grades’.

Almost half of Muslims in Britain (46 per cent) live in the 10% of the most deprived local authority districts.

Muslims, particularly women, face double (gender and ethnicity) or triple (low socio-economic backgrounds) penalties in the labour market, which has real long-term consequences. Which, in turn, are reflected in low pay and the disproportionate impact household poverty has on Muslims (50 per cent) compared to 18 per cent of the overall population.

These barriers pose real, significant questions about social mobility.

The challenge of anti-Muslim and Islamophobic prejudice, violence, and discrimination warrants more media attention, not the rambling, inchoate conspiracies of an individual who, late last year, invited Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (aka Tommy Robinson) to dine at parliament, and referred to him, bizarrely, as a ‘Quranic expert’.



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Categories: demographics, discrimination, Lord Pearson, News, Tommy Robinson