World Bulletin / News Desk
Figures obtained from various news sources show Islamophobic hate crimes across Britain have risen dramatically in 2013.
Hundreds of offences were perpetrated against the country's Muslim population in 2013. The Metropolitan police alone - Britain's largest force - recorded 500 Islamophobic crimes, compared with 336 incidents in 2012 and 318 in 2011.
A large number of forces across the country reported a particular surge in the number of anti-Muslim hate crimes following the murder of soldier Lee Rigby by two assailants in Woolwich, south-east London.
In May, the month in which Fusilier Rigby was killed, Scotland Yard recorded 104 anti-Muslim hate crimes, followed by a further 108 in June.
Since the faith of a religious hate crime victim is not recorded in some incidences, the actual numbers of incidents of hate crimes against Muslims perpetrated in 2013 was possibly much higher.
Tell Mama, a group which monitors anti-Muslim incidents, said it has dealt with some 840 cases since just April - with the number expected to rise to more than 1,000 by the end of March.
This compared with 582 anti-Islam cases it dealt with from March 2012 to March 2013.
It is commonly accepted by the expert that reaction to the murder of Fusilier Rigby had caused the number of Islamophobic crimes to “significantly jump”. The far right groups, particularly the EDL (English Defense League) constantly use the Internet and social media to promote online hate.
Experts are saying that tougher sentencing was needed to tackle Islamophobic crime. In one well-known case, a pig's head was left outside a mosque. The perpetrator only received a community sentence although targeting a mosque is in a way targeting the whole community.
The police forces also need to introduce a system which improves monitoring and recording of Islamophobic crimes, ensuring the faith of a religious hate crime victim is recorded.
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