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A nation and Islam
It’s five years since bombs rocked London’s transport system. Preoccupied by two wars, has the British government overlooked a poisonous tide of anti-Muslim sentiment developing at home?
July 7, 2010 4:26 by Olivia Cuthbert
And a crusade is clearly how many in the West have perceived it, if the spiraling state of anti-Muslim sentiment among Western populations is anything to go by. Having followed America into both Afghanistan and Iraq, Britain has accompanied its retaliation against terrorism with the customary words of war, and their vaunted ideals of multiculturalism and racial equality are reaping the inevitable consequences.
After the attacks on the London Underground and bus network in 2005, the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) stated that “these evil deeds make victims of us all,” a claim that has proved uncomfortably pertinent several years on.
Following the 2005 bombings, police figures showed a 600 percent rise in attacks motivated by religious hatred, and in August 2005 the Islamic Human Rights Commission said it had received 320 complaints of attacks on Muslims since July 7, compared with a typical average of five a week.
The MCB said it had received more than 1,000 e-mails containing threats, some reading “it’s war now on Muslims throughout Britain.”
Almost five years later, Islamophobia in the UK is still a growing concern, with an increasing number of investigations and studies exposing an alarming rise in anti-Muslim hate-crime. While Western powers appear willing to pour vast resources into destructive wars on terror abroad, they seem less concerned about preventing its causes back home.
Pointing out that “anti-Muslim sentiment in Britain has risen dramatically, firstly after 9/11 and then after the July 2005 bombings,” Chris Doyle, director at Caabu, the Council for Arab-British Understanding, says that “British Muslims feel as if they are permanently on trial, with the jury having pre-determined the outcome.” He adds that, “there is a running debate about whether British Muslims are loyal citizens and fully participant in British society. We see this in the rise of support for the British National Party, which runs openly anti-Islamic campaigns.”