In the last few weeks hate crime monitoring group Tell MAMA has reported a spike in anti-Muslim hate directly linking this to comments made by Boris Johnson comparing Muslim women to “letter boxes” and “bank robbers.”
Hate incidents such as: a Muslim woman on a bus being told to remove her niqab, Muslim women reporting passersby saying “oh there goes a letterbox” and mosques being attacked. These are only a small number of attacks that have been reported, many more victims remain silent and are reluctant to speak up.
Islamophobia for me isn’t just a word, it’s a lived experience. I’ve been called everything from a terrorist to a cockroach online, I’ve been told to go home, been discriminated against and had my choice of dress questioned many times. But recently, islamophobic attacks experienced by Muslims are more brazen. Nearly every story of islamophobia I hear is an attack against a Muslim woman. Muslim men face attacks too but from speaking to Muslim women and data from Tell MAMA it is clear that Muslim women have become the go-to target.
These attacks will continue to alienate and isolate British Muslim women from society.
That’s why I am working with Aisha Ali Khan, Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu and Women’s March London to, call on Parliament to launch an inquiry into Islamophobia within all parties with MP’s in Parliament to ensure there is no space for racism and bigotry in British politics.
We ask Parliament to adopt the following steps that have previously been proposed by Muslim Council of Britain and action these when launching this inquiry:
- Launch a genuine independent inquiry
- Publish a list of incidents of Islamophobia within parties and what action has been taken
- Adopt a programme of education and training on Islamophobia
Those we choose to represent us, should not endanger, disempower or divide us or make us targets - they should protect us. Divisiveness and hostility amongst communities is not what a democracy or those serving in a democracy should encourage or tolerate.
I am asking fellow British people to show our politicians that we will not let this go. MPs go back to Parliament soon and I want us to make sure this is the top of their agenda. Please help me by signing.
Image credit: Elainea Emmott