692% Increase In UK Islamophobic Incidents After Christchurch Shooting, Report Shows

By Aaron Walawalkar, News and Digital Editor 13 Mar 2020
Discrimination, Religion
New Zealand's Prime Minister mourns the loss of 51 Muslim worshippers killed in the Christchurch shooting.

The number of anti-Muslim incidents reported in the UK increased by almost seven times in the week following last year’s far-right terror attack on a New Zealand mosque, new figures reveal.

The figures are contained in a report published by UK-based hate crime monitoring project Tell MAMA, published one year on from the Christchurch terror attack in which 51 Muslim worshippers were killed.

On 15 March 2019, the peacefulness of the city’s Al Noor mosque and Linwood Islamic Centre was shattered as a gunman burst in and opened fire with semi-automatic weapons during Friday prayers.

Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old man from Grafton in Australia, has been charged with 51 counts of murder, 40 counts of attempted murder and one count of terrorism.

In the week before the attack, 12 anti-Muslim incidents were reported to Tell MAMA. In the week following, this jumped to 95 incidents.

A total of 705 incidents were reported to the charity between 1 January 2019 and 30 June 2019, of which 529 have been verified as Islamophobic in nature.

Of those verified, 374 occurred offline and 155 occurred online.

Tell MAMA director Iman Atta said: “Instead of empathy and sympathy with British Muslims, some thought it appropriate to attack this community after the Christchurch mosque murders.

“This shows a latency of anti-Muslim hate in some parts of communities and which means that we need a multi-community and multi-faceted response to tackling the poison of anti-Muslim hate.

“It is also clear within the globalised interconnected world that we live in that social cohesion and the wellbeing of communities can be seriously impacted by an event thousands of miles away, within a matter of hours.”

The group’s report examines the impact of the attack on Muslims in Britain as well as the far-right ideology that inspired it. Among the ideologies cited is eco-fascism – which is based heavily on racialised, genocidal notions of population control and ecological salvation.

Read the full report here

Featured image credit: Appaloosa / Flickr