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Hate crimes spiked after Boris Johnson compared Muslim women to 'letterboxes'

Hate crimes spiked after Boris Johnson compared Muslim women to 'letterboxes'
Boris Johnson referred to veiled Muslim women as "letterboxes"

Anti-Muslim incidents spiked around a proposed "Punish a Muslim Day" and after Boris Johnson referred to veiled Muslim women as "letterboxes" and "bank robbers".

This is according to findings by Tell MAMA, a project which supports victims of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hate.

It revealed that in the week following Mr Johnson's Telegraph column in August 2018, the number of anti-Muslim incidents rose from eight the previous week to 38 in the following.

Of the 38 anti-Muslim hate incidents, 22 were directed at women who wore the niqab or other veiling practices.

Tell MAMA recorded a total of 57 incidents in the three weeks following the publication of Mr Johnson's column.

Between August 5 and 29, 42 per cent (24) of the street-based incidents directly referenced Mr Johnson and/or the language used in his column.

There was another spike of incidents in 2018 around the proposed "Punish a Muslim Day", Tell MAMA said.

In March, letters referencing the proposed day were sent to Muslim homes, institutions and places of work. There was also a second wave of letters in May.

In total, the national project received reports of 37 street-based incidents which directly referenced "Punish a Muslim Day".

This Is Local London:
There was a spike in anti-Muslim incidents after the publication of Boris Johnson's column

In addition, the national project reported sharp spikes of reported anti-Muslim hate incidents just after the major terrorist attacks in the UK: the Westminster Bridge crash, the Manchester Arena bombing, the London Bridge van attack, and the Finsbury Park mosque van attack.

Nearly 3,000 anti-Muslim cases in 2018

Tell MAMA recorded 1,282 anti-Muslim or Islamophobic reports, of which 1,072 were verified through secondary evidential sources.

Of the 1,072 cases, 745 occurred in the streets and 327 were online.

In addition, Tell MAMA received reports of 1,891 anti-Muslim hate crimes and incidents from 20 police forces in the UK.

In total, the project reports 2,963 anti-Muslim hate incidents in 2018.

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Many alleged victims of anti-Muslim hate incidents were women

Majority of alleged victims were female

Details of 1,244 victims and 1,196 offenders were recorded. The majority (57 per cent) of victims were female and the majority (73 per cent) of known perpetrators were male and 61 per cent were white men.

Anti-Muslim attacks in 2018 often happened in public areas, although incidents which took place within or targeted at the victim's home increased by 11 per cent and those occurring in the victim's place of work rose by eight per cent.

Tell MAMA said there were several themes when it analysed the verbal abuse that accompanied the anti-Muslim incidents, these include: terrorism, paedophiles, hatred of foreigners, blame, competition, insulting/derogatory remarks about Islam, and expressions of confidence by the perpetrator that no punishment will follow.

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