Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Investigating Islamophobia Claims

Today, the Mayor of London, Ken "Imam" Livingstone, launched a report into Muslims. He told reporters that, "Muslims in London face serious discrimination and prejudice... Muslims are disproportionately victims of religiously aggravated crime, more so than any other faith." The report is co-authored by Muhammed Abdul-Bari, the Secretary-General of the MCB.

Let's examine this claim. The figure in the report (provided by the BBC) was 1,000 incidents in 2005. The total number of Muslims in London is 706,000. So, simple maths indicates that we have about 1.3 incidents for every 1000 Muslims.

The CST reported that in this same period there were 455 anti-Semitic incidents against 300,000 Jews. That amounts to 1.5 incidents for every 1000 Jews. (In 2004 the number was 532 and this year is set to be even higher with 92 reported in July alone which would work out as a massive 3.7 incidents for every 1000 Jews)

Additionally, it was reported on Sunday that almost half of people killed in racist attacks were from the white majority.

Lastly, it would be instructive to see exactly what kind of incidents make up these Islamophobic ones. In today's thelondonpaper (scroll to the bottom of the page) there is a report that a Muslim man was shot at during a car boot sale. In fact, his windscreen was shattered and he told police that it was from gunfire. The police found absolutely no evidence but recorded it as an Islamophobic incident anyway.

In conclusion, while the Muslim community are no doubt facing some Islamophobia, the figures are inflated, and they are no higher than racism suffered by other identifiable communities. This is just another case of crying the victim.