back to top
Politics

The Conservatives Want To Crack Down On Islamophobia Too

It's not just Labour that wants more action taken.

Posted on

Ed Miliband announced this week that he wanted to toughen the law on Islamophobia, a move that prompted a backlash from critics.

Chris Radburn / PA WIRE

In an interview with the Muslim News, the Labour leader said his government would make Islamophobia an aggravated crime, meaning it would be marked on people's police records.

“We are going to change the law on this so we make it absolutely clear of our abhorrence of hate crime and Islamophobia," he said. "It will be the first time that the police will record Islamophobic attacks right across the country.”

Given @Ed_Miliband's pledge to bring in new law against Islamophobia, will next journo to iv him ask if he'll outlaw cartoons of Muhammad?

#Miliband pledges to outlaw #Islamophobia but fails to define it. Will criticising this one religion become a crime? http://t.co/WXQ0g4AcTU

Advertisement

In March, Theresa May said a future Conservative government would force police forces to record anti-Muslim crime.

In a speech about tackling extremism, the home secretary said: "We will require police forces to record anti-Muslim crimes as well as anti-Semitic crimes."

In the same speech, she lamented the fact that hundreds of British Muslims face abuse every year because of their religion, and even have their places of worship threatened with arson.

Tell Mama, an organisation that records anti-Muslim incidents, told BuzzFeed News it recorded more than 400 of them in 2014.

"Most of the incidents that we catalogue – the vast majority – are [to do with] abusive behaviour and anti-Muslim literature," a spokesperson said. Of the reports it receives and verifies, a large proportion are to do with material that is "inflammatory and inciteful and usually calls for hate".

Tell Mama plans to release a new report to the Organisation of Security and Cooperation in Europe on Thursday. In it, it will say that there were 202 incidents of abusive behaviour towards Muslims in 2014, of which 90 were physical and the remainder online.

There were also 19 instances of damage to Muslim institutions, the majority of which targeted mosques and schools.

Siraj Datoo is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Siraj Datoo at siraj.datoo@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.