Islamophobic crime in London ‘up by 70 percent’

London, Sep 7 (IANS) Hate crimes against Muslims in London have risen by 70 percent in the past year, a media report said on Monday.

According to official data released by the Metropolitan Police Service, figures for the 12 months up to July showed 816 Islamophobic crimes, compared with 478 for the previous 12-month period, BBC reported.

Tell MAMA, an organisation that monitors Islamophobic attacks, claimed women were the primary targets.

“We realised that at a street level Muslim women who were visible, and wore the Hijab or the headscarf, were suffering more targeted abuse,” Fiyaz Mughal, director of the organisation said.

“We also realised quite early on that women who wear Niqab, the face veil, suffered more aggressive incidents – there was something about the face veil that in a way brought out the worst in the perpetrator.”

The Met define Islamophobic crime as any offence intended to affect those known or perceived to be Muslim. Reported incidents ranged from cyber-bullying and assaults to extreme violence.

One of the highest increases was in Merton, south west London, which saw a rise from eight incidents in the year to July 2014 up to 29 in the subsequent 12-month period – an increase of 263 percent.

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