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UK report: Anti-Muslim hate crime rising

Muslims attend Friday prayers on a rainy first day of Ramadan in East London [Reuters]

While official UK figures show a decline in hate crime generally, anti-Muslim abuse appears to be bucking that trend.

London, UK - The number of reported instances of anti-Muslim hate crime in the UK has risen sharply since the murder of a British soldier in London last year, with women wearing traditional Islamic dress most likely to be the victims of abuse and street attacks, according to a new study.

But researchers believe that a widespread lack of trust in the police in Muslim communities and endemic under-reporting of hate crime masks the true scale of the problem, with most Islamophobic incidents, ranging from online trolling to verbal abuse and extreme violence, going unlogged and unpunished.

The publication of the report also comes amid concerns expressed by some Muslims about their safety on British streets following the murder of a female Saudi Arabian student in Colchester last month. Police say the attack may have been religiously motivated because the victim was wearing an abaya.

The study, conducted by researchers at Teesside University, is based on analysis of 734 incidents reported to and verified by case workers at Tell MAMA, an organisation monitoring anti-Muslim attacks, over 10 months from May 2013 to the end of February.

Simon Hooper / Al Jazeera
July, 2014
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United Kingdom