Thursday, August 04, 2005

Mob Rule Britannia

Britain, whose international reputation for tolerance is well-deserved in many respects (they tolerate me, for example; millions wouldn't), has actually seen a much greater violent backlash against Muslims (and "Muslim-looking" people) since the 7/7 bombing than we saw in the United States following 9/11. From the Independent:

Britain's Muslim Scapegoats

"Increasing evidence has emerged of a backlash against Muslims and members of ethnic minorities in the wake of the London bombings. Police forces across Britain have recorded a dramatic rise in racist assaults and abuse in the aftermath of the July 7 suicide attacks.

"Four weeks after the explosions in the capital, a survey of forces by The Independent yesterday found a substantial increase in racially motivated crime, particularly in inner cities. Experts said as many as one in six of those abused or attacked were not Muslim but were simply of an Asian appearance...

"The survey of police forces, carried out the day after the Metropolitan Police reported that faith-hate crimes had risen by 600 per cent compared with last year, showed that other large forces, such as West Yorkshire and West Midlands, had seen significant increases in race-hate crime. It also indicated that, far from being centred on London, such incidents have been recorded across Britain....

"Suresh Grover, of The Monitoring Group, said: "We have had calls from South Americans, Eastern Europeans, Hindus and Sikhs. Ten to 15 per cent are people who are a different religion to Muslims. We have one very serious case of a disabled Hindu man who was beaten up by his neighbour and left with severe head injuries while being called al-Qa'ida"...

"...Frail and frightened, Siham Kadoura emerges from her flat just once every few weeks to visit her local mosque. After years of peaceful co-existence with her neighbours, the 67-year-old former headmistress does not even dare venture out to visit her 10 grandchildren. But it is hard to hide from the racists when bricks come through your window and dog faeces are left on your doorstep, which is daubed with a swastika...."

(Edited after some justified criticism for a ham-handed and slapdash original intro.)