Yesterday’s Independent on Sunday had an alarming story claiming that “Islamophobic attacks have been on the rise.” It previewed a speech in which Farooq Murad, head of the Muslim Council of Britain, was due to say: “Islamophobic attacks, on persons and properties, are committed by a tiny minority, but the number of incidents is increasing. Robust action is necessary.”
However, the same article quoted some interesting figures from the Metropolitan Police – the first I’ve seen on specifically Islamophobic incidents – which diametrically contradict both Mr Murad’s claim and the Sindy’s own. The paper said there had been “762 Islamophobic offences in London since April 2009, including 333 in 2010/11 and 57 since this April.” It said there were only a few forces which collect this data; figures from the other forces weren’t given.
If a total of 762 offences have been committed since April 2009, 57 of them since this April and 333 of them in 2010/11, that means the number committed in 2009/10 was 372. Between 09/10 and 10/11 there was therefore a drop of 39 offences – or more than 10 per cent.
I have to suspect, from the unusual way the paper presented the figures, that either it or the MCB was trying to conceal this inconvenient truth. Though the Sindy described the MCB as “Britain’s largest mainstream Muslim organisation,” it is in fact heavily influenced by a creed which is very far from mainstream in the British Muslim community – Islamism, the doctrine that Islam is a form of government not just a religion.
Farooq Murad himself is or has been a trustee of the Islamist Markfield Institute and of Muslim Aid, a charity closely linked to the radical Islamic Forum of Europe and East London Mosque, who have long dominated the key positions of the MCB.
One of British Islamists’ key articles of faith – extremely useful for recruitment and in furtherance of their separatist agenda – is that Muslims are under growing attack by the rest of British society. Its disciples do their level best to propagate this claim despite a complete lack of evidence – in conferences and meetings and in the deplorable work of the Exeter University academic and Islamist client, Robert Lambert, whose dishonesty and shoddiness on the subject is exposed here. (Since then, things have got even worse for Bob Lambert – Exeter has been forced to remove an entire chapter of his opus and apologise to people he libelled.) Inevitably, Lambert pops up in the Sindy piece, described as a “leading academic.” Not so leading that he knows how to use a calculator, it seems.
There is, of course, plenty of anti-Muslim hatred in Britain, and it’s disgraceful. But these police figures are the only the latest in a great deal of evidence to suggest that it is, thankfully, diminishing. Britain’s main anti-Muslim political party, the BNP, has lost the vast majority of its councillors, and effectively collapsed. Racial attacks in many Muslim areas, such as Tower Hamlets, are sharply down. The Tory chairmanship, once home of Norman “Cricket Test” Tebbit, is held by a Muslim woman.
The number of Muslim MPs doubled at the last election, several of them elected for entirely non-Muslim, Middle English seats (such as Bromsgrove and Stratford-on-Avon) without any backlash whatever. Continental moves to ban minarets and the niqab have gained no political traction whatever in Britain.
Muslims are making their way successfully into the mainstream of British life. Shame on the MCB for stereotyping them as victims, and shame on the Sindy for falling for the Islamists’ grievance-mongering agenda.