Islamophobia is a posh persons prejudice, according to a report by Birmingham university. “A survey led by the University of Birmingham says people from middle and upper-class occupational groups are more likely to hold prejudiced views of Islam than people from the working-class occupational group.”
The study highlighted that the British public is three times more likely to hold prejudiced views of Islam than they are of other religions. That British people are more confident in making judgements about Islam and make incorrect assumptions about Islam. Link to the report https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/news/2022/university-of-birmingham-survey-reveals-islamophobia-is-the-posh-persons-prejudice
Moving to Pimlico in the borough of Westminster exposed me to some of the country’s most Islamophobic people. I felt like I had stepped back in time. Many of the people targeting me were posh people. Anytime I walked past the pub or Italian restaurant, I was ridiculed, mocked and, at times, verbally abused. I was called a “Fucking spoon”.
As a Muslim woman who wears a niqab, I am not the only Muslim woman targeted in the Westminster borough. You can read about a niqabi woman who is frequently targeted. Link to article here https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/i-wear-niqab-most-islamophobic-24982579
When we think of islamophobes, we think of a white man with a football shirt, usually from a working-class background. In my experience, many people harassing me were not only men but women aged 18 up to the late 60s. Many were from an upper-middle-class background. There is a new generation of islamophobes and fascists that have been radicalised by their parents. Sadly I have experienced first-hand the harassment from these young people outside my flat, in shops and on the street. The most disturbing part is many of these young people go on to work for the authorities taking their Islamophobic prejudices with them. Which often leads to further targeting of British Muslims.
Islamophobia is not only a white person’s prejudice. Both men and women of colour participated in my harassment. I was sexually assaulted many times in the last 12 months, mainly by men of colour. I’ve been grabbed, groped and a man brushed his pelvis on me. Recently a man of colour called me “batman.” A few years ago, a man of colour in Hyde Park said, “run these Muslim bitches over”, whilst looking at me.
The British people often get blamed for islamophobia. However, those who migrate to Britain from other parts of the world often bring their prejudice and hatred towards Muslims. My response to them is we have enough islamophobes and fascists in Britain. We do not need anymore.
According to a report by parliament UK 2020/2021, there were 2703 religious hate crimes towards Muslims in the UK. Many incidents of Islamophobia go unreported due to the lack of trust between the Muslim community and the police. I reported many incidents to the police however stopped reporting further incidents due to nothing being done about the harassment I experienced. Link to report https://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/CDP-2021-0170/CDP-2021-0170.pdf
Although it is both men and women who experience Islamophobia, It is Muslim women who face the brunt of Islamophobia in the UK. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/uk-islamophobia-attacks-women-bearing-brunt-hate-crimes-a8036581.html
Muslim women also have a poor experience with the legal system in Britain. According to a report by the Muslim woman’s network. When Muslim women report crimes, they are not taken seriously or dismissed, which leads to women feeling they were not believed. Victims of crime felt like they constantly had to chase the police for updates. More often than not, perpetrators were not brought to justice. Link to report here https://www.mwnuk.co.uk/go_files/resources/Muslim_Women_and_Criminal_Justice_FINAL.pdf
Like Muslims, the white working class are often discriminated against by the elites, often looked down upon and seen as irrelevant. There is some fixation on the white working class as they are seen as disadvantaged and underrepresented. We need to stop blaming the white working class for Islamophobia. I believe the elites of this country are radicalising the white working class. The white working class are then scapegoated and solely blamed for Islamophobia while the elite of this country take a backseat and watch. The white working-class people want what is best for their families—the same opportunities as everyone else. Instead, they get blamed for everything. We live in a society where the poorer people are always at fault.
The evidence is clear, so why are those in power not doing anything about the wrongful targeting of Muslims in the UK? If we are to tackle Islamophobia in the UK, we need to start by addressing who is behind the religious hatred and stop blaming the wrong demographic of people. Blaming the wrong people is dangerous and will lead to the targeting and discrimination of marginalised groups.