Northampton’s Muslim communities fearful due to the rise of Islamophobic abuse across the UK
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The ongoing conflict in Israel has led to a rise in the number of Islamophobic cases in the UK, according to an anti-Muslim attack charity.
Communities across the country, including in Northampton, are worried about the threat of potential violence or abuse.
Abdul Ali, a member of the Northampton Council of Mosques, expressed his deep concerns for the Muslim community.
He said: “We are very concerned, Mosques feel vulnerable and unsafe at the moment.
“There is a feeling of worry with attacks happening elsewhere.”
Although Abdul did go on to express that they have not received any direct threats, but did express his concern from other groups.
He added: “Rumours and threats are circulating from far-right groups but nothing direct yet, we are not aware of any direct threat.”
According to TellMAMA – a charity that measures anti-Muslim attacks – has released figures showing a seven-fold increase in anti-Muslim attacks in the month to November 7, following the Hamas attacks on October. There were 701 cases in this time, which is a seven-fold increase in compared to the same time period in 2022. Read the full TellMAMA report here.
With the unsettled feeling amongst the Muslim community, Abdul recognised the strong relationships formed with other religious groups in this turbulent time.
He said: “There is strong communication between all groups, we have worked alongside each other for many years to be in situations such as this. Especially with all communities feeling vulnerable right now.”
With vulnerability felt amongst religious groups, he noted the relationship built with the Jewish community. He continued: “I spoke with the Jewish Community, and we both feel incredibly vulnerable at the moment.”
The Northamptonshire Council of Mosques has also released a statement about the ongoing conflict, urging for a ceasefire.
The statement said: “We will continue to challenge these injustices and promote dialogue. Societies cannot move forward where education, learning and ideas and debate are stifled and are closed due to rigorous challenge and honest debate.”
“We will continue to use our voice. And right to freedom of expression – The Cornerstone of our democracy to speak against injustice.”
With conflicts continuing in Gaza, there are many calls for a ceasefire, but there is still a concern with the rising numbers of Islamophobia and hate crimes among communities across the UK.
If you experience a hate crime, Northampton Charity, NIFF, and the Northampton Inter Faith Forum have urged people on their website to report them to the police here.