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Racism, Islamophobia on the rise

world Updated: Jul 10, 2008 23:11 IST
Vijay Dutt
Vijay Dutt
Hindustan Times
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Despite anti-racism legislation, Britain witnessed a 28 per cent increase in racially motivated crime in five years, according to figures by the Ministry of Justice. Between 2006 and 2007, there were 61,000 complaints.

The figures are based on cases reported by police in England and Wales. Islamophobia –fuelled by the 9/11 attacks and 7/7 train bombings in London – is blamed for many of the incidents.

“We're getting more British Muslims reporting to us that they feel anti-Muslim prejudice is increasing in society,” said Inayat Bunglawala, spokesman for the Muslim council of Britain. “There are incidents of attacks against mosques and Islamic schools.”

Last week, Shahid Malik, Britain's first Muslim minister, criticised what he described as growing hostility to Muslims in the UK. But many others feel that more measures accepting demands of the community have been counter-productive.

The latest measure calls for police dogs to wear booties before searching a Muslim's house. The British National Party, started a counter-campaign arguing that whites face discrimination.

Instances of racism hit non-Muslim Asians as well. Last year, John Abraham revealed that he, his girlfriend, Bipasha Basu, and Arshad Warsi were filming a scene outside of an Indian-themed pub in Southall. A car stopped in front of them and two white males started rapping explicatives.