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‘I’m too scared to leave my house,’ Muslims say as cases of Islamophobia rise by 365%

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According to recent statistics, the number of cases of Islamophobia in Britain has increased dramatically after Hamas’ attack on Israel on October 7. Muslims in the country claim they are too afraid to leave their houses after dark.

As the Israel-Hamas conflict rages on, many of the events, according to London-based charity Islamophobia Response Unit (IRU), involve people being targeted because they support Palestine.

Speaking with The Independent, Muslims reported having bricks thrown through their windows for flying the Palestinian flag, while one adolescent said he was interrogated by teachers for wearing a Palestinian emblem to school.

Following Hamas’s catastrophic strikes in Israel that resulted in the deaths of over 1,200 people, the IRU states that it noticed a 365% rise in reports of Islamophobia in October. The Community Security Trust organization said earlier this month that it has witnessed a record number of antisemitic events in 2023, including 2,699 since October 7. The Jewish community in Britain experienced an increase in these assaults.

“Since October 2023 IRU has seen a sustained increase in reports to the unit,” said IRU CEO Majid Iqbal. “It is clear that this is now developing into a long-term trend and is having a profound impact on those affected by it. IRU calls on the press and politicians to not demonise legitimate Palestinian activism and, by extension, British Muslims, to avoid feeding into the serious societal problem of Islamophobia.”

Following a report earlier this week from Tell Mama, another organization that keeps track of anti-Muslim hate crimes, the numbers reveal that between October 7 and February 7, 2,010 occurrences were registered, which is more than three times the 600 events reported in the same period last year.

Furthermore, the Conservative Party suspended Tory MP Lee Anderson the same week that he made remarks about Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, that were widely denounced as anti-Islamic.

One 17-year-old student who said he was questioned by instructors regarding his religion and “his understanding of Hamas” after he had attached a Palestine insignia to his school backpack was one of the examples that were reported to IRU. The London-based Year 13 student said that he felt singled out because he was Muslim, which caused him to have an anxiety attack and fail the exam.

“The numerous instances of being pulled out whilst studying to remove my badge made me feel like I was targeted because I was a Muslim, which made me feel like I was doing something wrong,” he said. “This feeling of being targeted intensified following the intimidating interrogation, which I was subjected to.”

The kid claims that instead of talking about his mental health in a safety meeting with two instructors, he was asked questions like “Are you a Muslim?” and “Do you go to a mosque?” and “Do you have a British passport.” He says he was “interrogated” on how he understood Hamas.

A 32-year-old doctor who wanted to be anonymous described a different event that he reported to the IRU. He claimed that since the attack, which he feels was caused by his sympathy for Palestine, he has been too afraid to leave his house.

When the man heard a loud smash on February 5, he discovered that a big rock had been broken through a window of his Manchester home, which was flying the Palestinian flag.

“This event has been extremely traumatic and has had a significant impact on my wellbeing,” he stated according to The Independent. “I am not sleeping; I just pace around until 4 or 5am because I am too scared to sleep in the property. I no longer leave the house after sunset, as I am too frightened.

“I will soon be returning to work after two weeks off sick with stress but I am very concerned about the impact this event will have on my professional performance as a doctor. I do not know how I can work with patients whilst I am this sleep-deprived.”

 

 

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Dulal Ahmed Chowdhury

Dulal Ahmed Chowdhury is the Editor of The Daily Dazzling Dawn. Previously, he has been serving in important positions in all the famous national dailies of the Bangladesh since the nineties. He has played a commendable role in journalism by participating in various events at the national and international levels. United Nations Conference, World Climate Conference, SAARC Summit are notable among them.

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