London murder highlights rise of Islamophobia

British Muslims were on the receiving end of threats after a beheading incident in the UK capital even though it had nothing to do with Muslims.

London murder highlights rise of Islamophobia

World Bulletin / News Desk

The brutal murder of a woman in the UK capital has highlighted the increasing level of Islamophobia that has crept into British society after a backlash against Muslims followed the incident, even though the murderer was not a Muslim.

82-year-old Palmira Silva was beheaded in her garden in Edmonton, north London on Thursday by 25-year-old Nicholas Salvador. The murder triggered a local manhunt with police ordering residents out of their homes while the assailant jumped over fences behind people's houses.

The nature of the murder led many to believe it was a copycat attack after the beheading of two American journalists in Iraq last week, with many quick to blame the attack on Muslims even before any details were made available.

Fiyaz Mughal, director of Tell Mama, told The Guardian newspaper that the think tank recorded a sudden spike in the number of threats made against Muslims and mosques on social media as well as in the streets of Britain.

“The assumption is that ‘beheading equals Muslim.’ The association, for some, is an automatic response,” Mughal said.

In this case, however, the culprit was not a Muslim. Rather, he was a machete-wielding crazed maniac going on a rampage that seemingly targeted victims indiscriminately, including Muslim residents in the area and even a cat.

Police said the attack had nothing to do with terrorism and have charged the murderer who is recovering in hospital after being subdued by police.

Following the murder of British soldier Lee Rigby by two converts to Islam last year in London, British Muslims have been on the receiving end of increasing Islamophobic attacks. These attacks peaked again recently when it was discovered that a group of Muslim men had been committing sexual abuses in the city of Rotherham.

British Muslims this year have also been the target of a scandal covered extensively by the media alleging that they were trying to 'take over' control of a public school in Birmingham, an accusation local Muslims deny.

The British government are currently in the process of adopting measures to confiscate the passports of 500 odd British Muslims who are suspected of having travelled to Syria to participate in the war there.

Last Mod: 06 Eylül 2014, 11:46
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