Yesterday a group callled Tell Mama reported some shocking figures. The Rising Scourge of Anti-Muslim Hatred gives a perspective on the 632 cases of anti-Muslim hate crime reported in the first year of its work. In a non-provocative yet direct article the UK's first unit for reportng anti-Muslim hate crime states:
Our work ... reveals a disturbing picture of low-level anti-Muslim harassment: incidents in the workplace, in the street, between neighbours and particularly online, which may not always hit the headlines but can have a devastating effect on peoples’ lives. From the internet, to the workplace, the street and even houses of worship, too often Muslim women and men are becoming the target of vicious, sometimes violent, abuse.
It could be argued that 75% of the cases were "only" on social media. "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words [names] can never hurt me" said the nursery rhyme we learnt as children. Sadly that wasn't my experience. Cruel words turned me inward, created anger, left scars I still guard tday. Words are powerful. But words also speak out what one thinks, and thoughts reflect possible intent. If only one in every thousand lead to actions that is too much hatred unleashed in our society. If only it were one in a thousand. The sad fact is that while 75% of attacks were on social media, the remainder were face to face verbal assaults, attacks on persons and attacks on homes and mosques.
One attack on vulnerable Muslims in our society is unacceptable. Over 600 attacks says something is very wrong. For those attacks to be made in the pretence of defending our culture woud be a joke if it wasn't so horrible. To claim as some do that they are defending our Christian heritage is wrong. And evil.