Hate crime through the Looking Glass
by Melanie Phillips:
We’ve repeatedly been told that Britain is in the grip of a huge rise in Islamophobic attacks. According to Tell Mama, the group that monitors hate crime against Muslims, anti-Muslim attacks reportedly shot up by 326 per cent in 2015 and spiked again after the Brexit vote last year.
All such hateful crimes and incidents are utterly to be deplored. These statistics, though, have come in for criticism about their methodology and should be treated accordingly with caution. The principal caveats concern the subjectivity of these reports, exacerbated by the presumed echo-chamber effect of such alarmism which encourages some people wrongly to perceive themselves as victims.
None of this, though, captures the utterly surreal, Alice Through the Looking Glass madness of the official police recording of Islamophobic hate crime which has been unearthed by Hardeep Singh of the Network of Sikh Organisations. Through a Freedom of Information request, he obtained from the Metropolitan Police a breakdown of the “victims of Islamophobic hate crime” for 2016.
This showed a total of 1227 recorded Islamophobic attacks. But here’s the thing: of these victims, only 912 were Muslim. Of the other victims of supposedly anti-Muslim hate crime 39 were “Christian”, 19 were Hindu, 11 were atheists, seven were agnostic, four were Sikh, two were Greek Orthodox, two were Roman Catholic, two were Jewish and one was a Buddhist. Of the remainder 86 were “unknown”, 85 were “blank” and 57 victims weren’t contacted.