Islamophobia – the facts – 2014

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Updated 19 December – Daily Mail’s convert headline THE CLUMSY ACTIONS & STATEMENTS – Three part dossier:



Islamophobic talk inevitably leads to anti-Muslim hate crimes – it is time an irresponsible media and populist politicians recognise how their loose talk demonising Muslims and suggestions that every practising Muslim is a potential terrorist has so poisoned the atmosphere and let out the demons:

– the murder of a Saudi female student in Colchester (18th June 2014) follows two months of scare stories of a ‘Muslim take-over’ of schools (the Trojan Horse saga) and Tony Blair’s comparison with Boko Haram.

– the remark by Northern Ireland pastor James McConnell – also backed by ‘First Minister Peter Robinson (see entry below ) led to race attacks on two Pakistani men in north Belfast, Muhammad Khattak and Haroon Khan

Muslims are being attacked on a daily basis and children as young as 10 have been the perpetrators of some abuse – according to a new report by Teesside University’s Centre for Fascist, Anti-Fascist and Post-Fascist Studies. The report, compiled by Dr Matthew Feldman, a Reader in Teesside University’s School of Arts & Media, and Mark Littler, a Research Associate, is based on data from the Tell MAMA (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks) project set up by Faith Matters. It covers a 10 month period from the beginning of May 2013 to the end of February 2014. 
During that time, there were a total of 734 self-reported cases of anti-Islamic abuse. This ranged from online abuse and threats, to street based assaults and extreme violence. Significantly, there was a huge spike in reported incidents in the wake of Drummer Lee Rigby’s murder in Woolwich in May last year.


..This latest investigation comes after the government announced that British affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood will be investigated, and the Muslim mayor of Tower Hamlets was described in police reports as an ‘extremist’. When those who make criticisms of foreign policy get accused of creating the mood music for terrorism, there is understandable frustration and despair. Increasingly Muslims feel they just can’t win. On the one hand we get told we are not integrating enough and we should engage more in civic society. On the other, when we do, we get accused of having sinister agendas. There is more than a whiff of McCarthyism in the air. Salma Yaqoob in The Guardian, 17 April 2014


19th December 2014

The Daily Mail could have simply said: ‘Evil pensioner who paid thugs to throw acid on ex-girlfriend’s face is jailed for 18 years’.  But instead it preferred this: Muslim pensioner who paid two thugs £50 to throw sulphuric acid in his teenage Islamic convert ex-girlfriend’s face is jailed for 18 years. click here.

6th December 2014

Lord Hodgson seems to blame teetoler Muslims for the decline of pubs! As reported in Birmingham Mail: ‘A Tory peer, who is a former brewery boss, has claimed that the closure of many British pubs is partly due to an increase in the size of the country’s Muslim community. Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, who is a former director of pub chain Marston’s, said pubs are closing in areas with growing Muslim communities.’  click here


15th June 2014

Here is a leading headline in the Daily Mail that can only serve to re-enforce the negative image of Muslims in Britain – “Be more British, Cameron tells UK Muslims”. The Prime Minister apparently then referred to “Muslim clerics in the UK who inflame terrorism by denouncing free speech, equality and democracy” – as often the case, no evidence for such extreme statements. Daily Mail, report by Simon Walters

8th May 2014

“I am opposed to the Islamification of food”, says Colin Hart, of the Christian Institute, “so I don’t want to buy halal, but it’s become very had to avoid, even if you try.” Daily Mail, report by Guy Adams

6 May 2014

The Sun’s headline story: ” PIZZA Express is using halal chicken in every meal that contains the meat — but customers only find out if they ask. The chain decided to only serve chicken that is killed in line with strict Islamic law after feedback from Muslim customers….”.  The response from Hugh Muir of the Guardian was apt: a half-baked attempt to provoke outrage.

21 April 2014

Mr Straw said Muslim parents must[sic] accept that their own beliefs cannot supplant the Christian values that underpin British society. Matthew Holehouse in the Telegraph

3 March 2014

Daily telegraph islamophobia_s

Daily Telegraph headline: “The children taught at home about murder and bombings’ – Radicalisation is a form of child abuse, and the authorities must have the power to intervene.” What follows is Boris Johnson’s article, stating “It must have been dreadful for the family of Drummer Lee Rigby to listen to the ravings of his killers…” but then irresponsibly joined the  dots, “What has been less widely understood is that some young people are now being radicalised at home, by their parents or by their step-parents. It is estimated that there could be hundreds of children – especially those who come within the orbit of the banned extremist group Al-Muhajiroun – who are being taught crazy stuff: the kind of mad yearning for murder and death that we heard from Lee Rigby’s killers…”

The Lee Rigby killers were hardly influenced at home! Why demonise Muslim households?

23 January 2014

Why did the Evening Standard link Muslims – Children- Terror in this blatant Islamophobic way?

evening standard 23jan2014








17th November 2014

London Mayor Boris Johnson in defence of a Rosetta scientists choice of a sexist shirt: ‘“What are we all – a bunch of Islamist maniacs who think any representation of the human form is an offence against God? This is the 21st century, for goodness sake. And if you ask yourself why so few have come to the defence of the scientist, the answer is that no one dares.’ click here.

5th September 2014

The Sun’s headline stigmatised and demonised Muslims with the headline: Muslim Convert’ beheads woman in garden. The attack was carried out by a deranged idividual and his faith was irrelevant. click here

8th July 2014

Katie Hopkins anti-Ramadan crusade continues today after she posted a picture of a KFC bucket shaped cake with the message: “Not wishing to disappoint my devoted Muslim militia, here is your juicy cake for today to help break the fast”. click here

16th May 2014

“Ukip has become embroiled in yet another Islamophobia row after it emerged that one of its candidates has urged Catholics that they “must be ready to die” for their faith which is “the only countermeasure” to the “world domination” of Islam. The candidate John Kearney is standing in Basingstoke. In a blog dedicated to his Catholic beliefs, he accused Muslims of having “contempt for human life” and said last year: “The real threat now comes from militant Islam who persecute the Church and martyr Christians in a way that reminds us of the early Church.” Patrick Wintour in the Guardian

8th May 2014

Daily Mail headline: “A stealthy takeover [sic]  of Britain’s supermarket shelves”; quoting Conservative MP Philip Davies, “….halal has continued its quiet takeover [sic] of our high streets and our supermarket shelves”.  Report by Guy Adams

30 April 2014

The charity that represents Wikipedia in the UK has condemned edits made from government computers after more incidents of vandalism emerged. The BBC has discovered that the phrase “all Muslims are terrorists” was added to a page about veils. BBC

26 April 2014

Gilligan continues his malevolent exaggeration of Muslim influences on Birmingham’s state schools: “The alleged ringleader of the Trojan Horse plot wrote a detailed blueprint for the radical ‘Islamisation’ of secular state schools which closely resembles what appears to be happening in Birmingham…” Daily Telegraph, 26 April 2014

20 April 2014

Islamist extremism is the “most deadly” problem charities face, the chairman of the sector’s watchdog has said…In his first interview since becoming chairman, he said: “The problem of Islamist extremism and charities … is not the most widespread problem we face in terms of abuse of charities, but is potentially the most deadly. And it is, alas, growing. PA Report, The Guardian

A Muslim hardliner who says adulterers should be stoned to death and that gay men and fornicators should be lashed 100 times has set up an Islamic school that has received almost £1million of taxpayers’ money. Ibrahim Hewitt, one of Britain’s most prominent Islamic firebrands – who also heads a charity branded a ‘terrorist’ organisation by the US – is the founder and chairman of trustees of the Al-Aqsa school in Leicester, which teaches 250 boys and girls aged between three and 11. Tom Warden and Abul Taher, Daily Mail

13 April 2014

The Sunday Times headline: “Gove in war on Islamic takeover of schools” – a wording that serves to strengthen fear of Muslims in public perceptions. The response from the Muslim Council of Britain was apt: ‘For weeks now, British Muslims have borne the brunt of allegations that state schools are the target of a ‘Muslim takeover’, where supposedly conservative Muslim views and mores are imposed, and where non-compliant teachers are forced out. These allegations have thus far been unfounded in any real, substantial evidence.’  Secretary of State Gove has appointed a Counter-Terrorism officer, Peter Clarke, to head an investigation: the ‘war on terror’ being fought on the playing fields of Enfield! See Sunday Times item by Richard Kerbaj and Sian Griffiths

22nd March 2014

The Daily Telegraph headline was another scare story of shariah law engulfing Britain!


The reality is that English law provides a freedom of contract allowing individuals to distribute their estate and generally without state intervention.

9th March 2014

Andrew Gilligan’s report in the Daily Telegraph was sensational:

trojan horse3


“The leaked document, purportedly a letter from one Muslim extremist to another, called it ‘Trojan Horse’ – an operation by fundamentalists to “take over” state schools in the city of Birmingham, undermine the headteachers and ensure they were ‘run on Islamic principles’.”

Gilligan then proceeded to damage the reputation of educationalist Tahir Alam: “The chairman of governors at Park View, Tahir Alam, is a senior activist in the Muslim Council of Britain and vice-chair of the Association of Muslim Schools (AMS). His views, like the MCB’s, are hardline. In evidence for the MCB to the UN’s high commissioner for human rights in 2008, he said he would “caution against advocating that desegregation [in schools] should be actively pursued” and stressed the “obligatory nature” of the hijab for Muslim women and girls…Mr Alam and the AMS say that Islamic extremism is not a problem in British schools. However, the AMS co-controls the controversial Bridge Schools Inspectorate, which has taken over responsibility from Ofsted for inspecting many private Muslim schools and has been accused of whitewashing extremist schools. The centre-right think tank, Policy Exchange, has called on the Government to abolish the Bridge Schools Inspectorate….”

On 12th March, Tahir Alam responded, “…”As one of the people named in this anonymous document by a fictitious author, I wish to state that any reference to me is a malicious fabrication and completely untrue. I condemn the strategy outlined in this dodgy dossier, it goes against my values and the principles in campaigning and working for higher educational standards.”

On 13th March, Helen Pidd of the Guardian reported, “Police in Birmingham are investigating whether a document outlining an alleged Islamic fundamentalist plot to ‘take over’ schools in the city was a hoax connected to an employment tribunal involving one of the schools named in the plot.”

On 22nd March, an unchastened Andrew Gilligan returned to the topic, but this time the Daily Telegraph was careful to clothe its poison with lots of inverted commas:

Daily telegraph22marchschools


18th Feb 2014

Richard Littlejohn spins a tale of sarcasm and exaggeration in his description of a Muslim organisation’s attempt to develop activities for young people: “Legoland has been hired out to a radical Muslim cleric for a ‘Family Fun Day’. Maybe that’s ‘Fun’ as in ‘Fundamentalism’. The theme park in Windsor,  Berkshire, has accepted a booking from a man said to be among the top 25 hate preachers in Britain. Haitham al-Haddad leads the Muslim Research and Development Foundation, which is based in Tower Hamlets, and is in favour of turning this country into a Sharia state.”

[For Haitham al-Haddad’s rebuttal of similar allegations click here]

[For Bob Pitt’s investigation click here]

[For MCB & other organisation’s letter to the Daily Mail click here]

[For the Daily Mail’s response click here]

4th Feb 2014

A Ukip MEP believes that British Muslims should sign a special code of conduct and warns that it was a big mistake for Europe to allow “an explosion of mosques across their land”…The document asks Muslims to sign a declaration rejecting violence and says parts of the Qur’an that promote “violent physical Jihad” should be regarded as “inapplicable, invalid and non-Islamic”.

30th January 2014

Extreme-Right’s by-election flyer:

BNPWythenshawJan2014 (Custom)











29th January 2014

A protest group has been criticised for a legal application to stop a £17.5 million mosque being built in Cambridge, in which they claimed it could be “a front for terrorism”. Stephen Gash, of Stop Islamisation Of Europe (SOIE), and Sareeta Webra, founder of Sikhs Against Sharia (SAS), made an application for a Cambridge County Court injunction to prevent the mosque in Mill Road being built.The application calls for a “court injunction to be served against the Muslim Academic Trust for construction of a mega-mosque”.


7th November 2014

Tommy Wilson reporting in “A 19-year-old Muslim student was subjected to a sickening racial attack in Piccadilly Gardens yesterday – as her headscarf was torn from her head…. a first-year photojournalism undergraduate at Staffordshire University, was confronted by a group of white girls after expressing her disgust at the way they were treating a beggar. Yet she was subjected to a torrent of racial and physical abuse by the gang, which left her in tears.”

1st October 2014

“A 12-year old  Muslim boy was left with cuts and bruises after he was attacked by two racist men outside his home. Ubaid Khan, was playing football in Somercotes, Laindon, when he was set upon by the two thugs last Monday evening. The assault happened in the same week three Asian men were attacked as they walked to church, in Whitmore Way. Brother Sarfraz Sarwar of the Basildon Islamic Centre, said members of the Muslim community are now being advised not to go out alone after dark, in the wake of the attacks. click here.

24th September 2014

“A Muslim pensioner could be left blind after being battered as he drove to morning prayers in an unprovoked attack.The 64-year-old was in his car at around 3.10am when a man and a woman approached him as he stopped at the junction.The pair had been arguing before the man turned to the victim and asked: ‘What are you looking at?” The victim replied that he was only looking at the junction. But the thug approached the driver’s window, leaned through and punched the him several times without warning. He then kicked the driver’s door as he tried to get out before fleeing. The entire shocking incident in Kilburn, North West London, was caught on CCTV.” click here.

23rd September 2014

Reportage on 26th March 2015: ‘Michael O’Leary, 35, of St John’s Grove, Archway, had assaulted a Camden shopkeeper in an attempted robbery two hours before the attack on Samsul Islam at about 8.45pm on September 23 last year. Mr Islam told a jury at Blackfriars Crown Court that O’Leary, who pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding but was cleared of attempted murder and wounding with intent, had asked him if he was a Muslim and then said “I’d love to kill a Muslim” before the attack.’  click here.

15th September 2014

“A glass door has been smashed at a Rotherham mosque during a day of protests in the wake of the child sex exploitation scandal.” click  here.

5th September 2014

Visitors to a Manchester mosque targeted by arsonists say they are “living in fear.” Two CCTV cameras were stolen from outside the NAFSAT Islamic Centre in Newton Heath at around 11:30pm last night. Just two hours later, shortly before 1:30am this morning, a minibus the centre uses to ferry young and elderly visitors to the mosque, was torched. Police believe the culprits took the cameras in a bid to avoid detection. click here.

19th August 2014

A Muslim community has spoken of their disgust after vandals carried out a sickening attack at a cemetery. Police say yobs uprooted headstones, trampled on flowers and kicked over memorials in a ‘heinous and senseless’ crime in the Muslim section of Chadderton Cemetery. The raid took place at the site, on Middleton Road, between Friday evening (August 15) and Saturday morning. Two large floral tributes were smashed, trampled on and flowers scattered across the floor. Flowers on up to four other graves were also kicked over. Footmarks have also been spotted on a number of graves. click here.

29th July 2014

A Muslim woman was left shocked and in tears when she was verbally abused and spat at by a stranger ranting about the Middle East. Hasina Khan, who was born in Bristol, was on her way to work when she was attacked by a man in Cabot Circus at about 9am on Monday. Saliva ended up on her hijab and her left hand.The 36-year-old, who lives in Horfield, said: I’ve experienced hostility and racism many times, from being called Paki in the street to having alcohol thrown at me. Bristol Post.

18th June 2014

A woman has died after being attacked in Colchester – and police say her full Muslim dress and veil may have been a factor.The woman, who has not yet been identified, was walking on the Salary Brook Trail at 10.40am on Tuesday when she was violently beaten. Paramedics tried to save her but she died at the scene from injuries to her head and body. Essex Police have said the woman, who was in her 30s, was wearing a dark navy blue full length robe (known as an Abaya) and a patterned multi-coloured Hijab headscarf. Sky News

2nd June 2014

Two Pakistani men targetted in race attacks in north Belfast have moved out of their home. Less than 24 hours after attending an anti-racism rally in Belfast, friends Muhammad Khattak and Haroon Khan were assaulted and had their north Belfast home set upon by thugs yesterday. In an interview with the Belfast Telegraph, Mr Khattak blamed the atmosphere stirred up by the fallout of an anti-Islamic sermon given by Pastor James McConnell, who was later backed by First Minister Peter Robinson. Belfast Telegraph

29th May 2014

“Pastor James McConnell, a prominent Belfast preacher, is in trouble for calling Islam ‘satanic’. This has been condemned as hate speech by Amnesty, although it doesn’t seem more hostile than many of the atheist attacks on Muslim beliefs from people who would despise McConnell as an ignorant hate-monger.Andrew Brown

19 May 2014

East London Mosque statement: “Britain First, the fringe far-right, Muslim-hating group, made a second visit to the East London Mosque today (apparently an ‘invasion’ which involved four people). They left pretty quickly, after a local Community Support Officer spotted their car on zig-zag traffic lines, and run a red light as they made their ‘getaway’…Of course, members of the public are welcome to attend the mosque and, with a booking, take a tour of the facilities (perhaps Britain First had trouble writing down the number)…..The party has recently boasted of guarding UKIP venues, though as anti-fascist groups have noted, its leader Jim Dowson has strong links to Northern Ireland, where he has been involved in the ‘flag protests’ in Belfast, as well as having a long history in an anti-abortion extremism.”

13 May 2014

“Police in Bradford and Scotland have launched an investigation after a group of uniformed far-right activists visited mosques over the weekend. Representatives of Britain First, an offshoot of the British National party that is contesting this month’s local and European elections, carried out what they called a Christian crusade, handing out leaflets and army issue Bibles to Muslim worshippers. In Yorkshire, members of the group wore matching flatcaps and green jackets embossed with the party logo, which features a crown and the legend ‘Taking our country back’.” Guardian

24 April 2014

UKIP Andre Lampitt’s statement which: “condemned Ed Miliband as ‘not a real Brit’, suggested Africans should ‘kill themselves off’ and said Islam was an evil religion with a paedophile prophet.” Daily Mail

13 December 2014

Middlesbrough FC have suspended two fans from matches after claims that copies of the Qur’an were ripped at a game. Paul Cockerton in the Mirror.

13 April 2014

The Sunday Times headline: “Gove in war on Islamic takeover of schools” – a wording that serves to strengthen fear of Muslims in public perceptions. The response from the Muslim Council of Britain was apt: ‘For weeks now, British Muslims have borne the brunt of allegations that state schools are the target of a ‘Muslim takeover’, where supposedly conservative Muslim views and mores are imposed, and where non-compliant teachers are forced out. These allegations have thus far been unfounded in any real, substantial evidence.’  Secretary of State Gove has appointed a Counter-Terrorism officer, Peter Clarke, to head an investigation: the ‘war on terror’ being fought on the playing fields of Enfield! See Sunday Times item by Richard Kerbaj and Sian Griffiths


For the 2013 log, click here.