Islamophobic Abuse Ignored By Bystanders, Prompting Claims We’re Missing ‘A Sense Of Common Humanity’
“We are racist, we are racist and we love it.”
That’s the chanting Hira had to listen to a she travelled alone on a train.
The group of men had already asked if she had a “bomb under her scarf”, made comments about eating bacon and had alcohol poured on her.
But most shockingly of all, not one of her fellow passengers stepped in, or even asked if she was alright.
She said: “They started chanting. I asked the person abusing me to stop but he wouldn’t.
“Then they dropped alcohol on my coat…people were watching but they ignored it. No one wanted to help.”
Hira’s case isn’t unusual – research has found that abusive behaviour towards Muslims is regularly going unchallenged by passers-by, leading to claims that Britain is lacking “a sense of common humanity”.
Research by the Islamic Human Rights Commission, which found that between 2010 and 2014 the number of people who reported seeing Islamophobia directed at someone else leapt from 50% to 82%.
Tell MAMA (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks) has released a series of reports looking at incidents including threats of violence, verbal and physical abuse.
In some cases, Muslim men and women said that they had removed their headscarves or shaved their beards in an attempt to avoid being targeted.
Particularly shocking was the fact that in many cases, no-one who witnessed the abuse offered any form of help or comfort to victims.
Fiyaz Mughal, director of Tell MAMA, says this reluctance of passers-by to get involved was disturbing.
He tells The Huffington Post UK: “A lot of victims – this not just a one-off – are saying no one is helping them when they’re in trouble or when they are targeted. That’s a concern.
“Victims are saying ‘I wish somebody had called the police, I wish somebody had just asked me if I was okay.’
“It doesn’t mean getting involved in the fray, just giving that reassurance. But people were just walking past.
“It doubles the impact of alienation and isolation within the community. It’s a them and us situation.
“People think ‘oh it’s just on of those people getting attacked, I don’t want to get involved’.