LONDON – The Metropolitan Police acting Commissioner for London has revealed that Islamophobic incidents saw only a “slight uplift” after Westminster attack, thanks to the immediate reaction from Muslims showing compassion to victims.
“We began tracking [Islamophobic activity] straight away and we keep that tracking in progress as we speak today. We saw a slight uplift in what we call ‘Islamophobic incidents’ the day after the event, but small, and far smaller than we have seen in previous events,” DC Craig Mackey told a London Assembly’s Police and Crime Committee hearing, RT reported on Friday, March 31.
He added that the quick response from the British Muslim community helped curb a bigger rise in hate crimes.
“I think the strength of all the faith leaders and the communities coming together and putting out a very strong message – that would’ve helped. People met within 24 hours of the incident, those messages went to Friday prayers and other gatherings that weekend and religious events, so I think that would’ve helped,” Mckey said.
Four people were killed when British-born Khalid Masood drove a car across Westminster Bridge, hitting anyone in sight, before stabbing a police officer near Parliament.
Unlike the aftermath of other terrorist attacks, Fiyaz Mughal, founder of Islamophobia monitoring group TellMAMA, said the charity had only noticed a “measurable mini-spike” in Islamophobic incidents.
“After Westminster, we did not see what was expected and there was no major peak in anti-Muslim hatred picked up across the country. If there was, our work within TellMAMA would have immediately been alerted to this,” the charity said in a statement.
“This is the first major terrorist incident in the last three years where there has not been a significant rise and peak in anti-Muslim hatred. There are times when we can feel a sense of hope and the last week provides us with a real window of hope. London truly is a great city.”
After the attack, hundreds of British Muslims turned out in Victoria Square in a peace rally to reject the Westminster attack as anti-Islamic, stressing that far-right extremists do not define the British values they hold.
A Muslim-led fund to support victims and victims’ families of the terror attack in Westminster, in which five people were killed including the attacker and 50 were injured, has raised more than £30,000 in a few days.
“I also want to extend our solidarity to the many Muslims and migrants who at this time will be especially fearful of racism and abuse,” said National Union of Student (NUS) president Malia Bouattia said in a statement after the terrorist attack.
“We must stand firm against all attempts to stoke up Islamophobia or intolerance against migrants of any nationality, especially at a time of increased hate crime against many communities across society.”