soasHere’s my piece I wrote for MuslimWise, a blog linked to SOAS at the University of London.

RIPOSTE: Dr Chris Allen comments on recent MET statistics indicating a 70% rise in islamophobic attacks in London

In the past couple of weeks, much has been made of the Metropolitan Police data showing that the number of Islamophobic hate crimes recorded increased by 70% in the past year. Amounting to 816 Islamophobic hate crimes in total, this was the second successive year that numbers had risen in London. In 2014, the 478 hate crimes recorded indicated an increase of more than 60% on the preceding year. A particularly concerning trend was that Islamophobic hate crimes increased in every London borough. While the most dramatic could be seen in Waltham Forest and Merton (showing increases of 270% and 263% respectively), notable increases were also evident in Islington (175%), Lewisham (160%), Hackney (137%) and Lambeth (135%).

In trying to explain these increases, the Metropolitan Police’s hate crime lead, Commander Mark Chishty suggested that it was down to the fact that greater numbers of people were increasingly aware of how to report hate crimes. Fiyaz Mughal (CEO of Tell MAMA) however was less convinced. Questioning the epiphany necessary to prompt significant numbers of people to report Islamophobic hate crime to the police, Mughal cited data collected by Tell MAMA to suggest that the increases were simply because “there were possibly more anti-Muslim hate incidents”.

To some extent, both explanations have some truth in them.

To continue reading, click here.

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