Children 'join anti-Muslim abuse'

2:03pm Monday 30th June 2014

© Press Association 2014

Children as young as 10 have been responsible for anti-Muslim abuse, according to a new study.

It suggests that the Muslim community is facing abuse on a daily basis, with many of the attacks carried out by younger people.

The report, published by the Centre for Fascist, Anti-Fascist and Post-Fascist Studies at Teesside University, is based on data collected over a ten month period by the Tell MAMA (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks) project.

It found that between May 2013 and February this year, there were 734 self-reported cases of anti-Islamic abuse - equivalent to more than two a day on average.

On these, 599 were incidents of online abuse and threats, the study found, while the rest were "offline" attacks such as violence, spreading of anti-Muslim literature, threats and assaults

Around three fifths (60%) of these "offline" attacks are believed to have been carried out by individuals estimated to be aged between 10 and 30.

The study also suggests that around two fifths of the cases recorded by Tell MAMA had a link to far-right groups.

It found that over half (54%) of the victims reporting incidents to the project were women, while less than one in six of all of those who reported incidents also told the police.

Study author Dr Matthew Feldman, co-director of the Centre for Fascist, Anti-Fascist and Post-Fascist Studies said: "Muslims remain among the most likely minority group in Britain to be targeted for a hate crime. 'Trigger' events like the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby clearly magnify the possibility of far-right groups and others victimising Muslims simply for who they are and what they believe."

The report noted a spike in reported incidents in the wake of Fusilier Rigby's murder in Woolwich, south east London on May 22 last year.

The soldier's death sparked shock across the country after he was run over with a car and then hacked to death by British Muslim converts Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale.

In the week after the murder, there were 127 reported incidents, according to Tell MAMA's figures, while a total of 354 cases of anti-Muslim activity were reported in May and June last year.

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