Photos by Parveen Ali –
Islamophobia is the result of posh people’s prejudice, according to researchers from the University of Birmingham found that middle and upper-class individuals hold more prejudice about Islam than those in the working class.
According to the study, the British public has three times more prejudiced views about Islam than about other religions. British people make incorrect assumptions about Islam and make more confident judgements about it. Link to the report https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/news/2022/university-of-birmingham-survey-reveals-islamophobia-is-the-posh-persons-prejudice
My move to Pimlico in Westminster exposed me to some of the country’s most Islamophobic people. It was as if I had stepped back in time. It was mostly posh people who targeted me. Every time I walked past the pub or Italian restaurant, I was ridiculed, mocked, and verbally abused. The term “fucking spoon” was used against me.
In the Westminster borough, I am not the only Muslim woman who wears a niqab. In this article, you will learn 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
We usually picture an islamophobe as a white man with a football shirt from a working class background. Among those harassing me were not only men, but women ranging in age from 18 to 60. It was common for them to come from upper-middle-class backgrounds. In the last few years, a new generation of islamophobes and fascists has been radicalised by their parents. It is unfortunate that I have personally experienced harassment from these young people outside my flat, in shops, and on the streets. Many of these young people go on to work for the authorities, bringing their Islamophobic prejudices with them. British Muslims are often further targeted as a result.
Prejudice against Muslims is not just a prejudice of white people. There were both men and women of color who harassed me. During the last 12 months, I have been sexually harassed primarily by men of colour. My body was grabbed, groped, and a man brushed his pelvis against me. Recently a man of colour called me “batman.” Several years ago, a man of colour told me, “run these Muslim bitches over”, while looking at me.
There is a tendency to blame the British people for islamophobia. However, people who migrate to Britain often bring their prejudices and hatred against Muslims with them. I would like to tell them we have enough islamophobes and fascists in our country. Currently, we do not need any more.
In the UK, there were 2703 religious hate crimes against Muslims, according to a report by parliament UK 2020/2021. Due to a lack of trust between the Muslim community and the police, many Islamophobic incidents go unreported. Since nothing was done about the harassment I experienced, I stopped reporting additional incidents to the police. Link to report https://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/CDP-2021-0170/CDP-2021-0170.pdf
Islamophobia affects both men and women, but it is Muslim women who are affected the most. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/uk-islamophobia-attacks-women-bearing-brunt-hate-crimes-a8036581.html
There are also issues with Muslim women’s legal representation in Britain in terms of their experience. According to a report published by the Muslim women’s network. Muslim women who report crimes are not taken seriously or dismissed, which makes them feel untrusted. People who were victims of crime felt as if they had to constantly chase the police for updates. In most cases, perpetrators are not brought to justice. Link to report here https://www.mwnuk.co.uk/go_files/resources/Muslim_Women_and_Criminal_Justice_FINAL.pdf
The white working class is often discriminated against by the elites, often looked down upon and considered irrelevant. There is an obsession with the white working class because they are perceived as disadvantaged and underrepresented. Islamophobia should not be blamed on the white working class. In my opinion, the elites of this country are radicalising the white working class in this country. White working class are then scapegoated for Islamophobia, while the elites of this country watch and listen. A working class person wants to provide the best opportunities for his or her family – the same opportunities as everyone else. In reality, they are blamed for everything that happens. We live in a society where the poor are always blamed for the problems we face.
There is clear evidence, so why are those in power not doing anything about the wrongful targeting of Muslims in the UK? In order to combat Islamophobia in the UK, we must address who is behind the religious hatred and stop blaming the wrong demographic. Putting the wrong people to blame is dangerous and may lead to the targeting and discrimination of marginalized groups.