London, MINA – According to the latest study, Non-Muslim men living in the UK have suffered verbal, physical and emotional abuse because they “look Muslim.”
In research presented at the House of Commons during Hate Crime Awareness Week, Dr Imran Awan and Dr Irene Zempi argued the experiences of non-Muslim men suffering Islamophobia because they look Muslim remains invisible, both in official statistics and academic research.
“Although it’s a case of mistaken identity, Islamophobic abuse should not be happening in the first place,” Dr Awan, Associate Professor of Criminology at Birmingham City University, told The Independent.
He said the research showed how perpetrators of hate crimes target their victims “based on prejudice and stereotypes”.
Interviewees described how animal excrement had been pushed through their mailboxes and their shop windows smashed. Others said they were called terrorists or linked to Isis because of their skin colour or their beards.
The researchers interviewed 20 non-Muslim men aged between 19 and 59 from black, white and Asian backgrounds. They included those from the Sikh, Christian and Hindu faiths, as well as atheists. Their responses were made anonymous in order to prevent them from being identified.
They found hate crimes would spike around “trigger events” such as terror attacks or the EU referendum, the media added.
One interviewee said they were sent a message on social media reading: “Vote Out. Kick out the Muslims.” Another said after Brexit they were told: “Today is the day we get rid of the likes of you.”
“Every time there’s a major terrorism incident there’s a sharp rise in hate directed at me and my family,” one person told the researchers.
Another agreed, adding: “Sadly the overall situation is deteriorating. Islamophobia is having an increasing impact on the lives of Asian men who look Muslim. The hatred that lies behind Islamophobia is spreading.”
New figures released by the Home Office support their findings, showing hate crimes rocketed by around a third in the UK in the past year, with the police recording unprecedented spikes around the EU referendum and terror attacks.(T/RE1/RS5)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)