Report Holds Media and Politicians Responsible for Hate CrimesA report published yesterday by a former Scotland Yard counter-terrorism officer claims that the media and profile politicians are to blame for the rise in hate crimes directed towards Muslims in London.

The study, composed by Dr Jonathan Githens-Mazer and former special branch detective Dr Robert Lambert for the University of Exeter's European Muslim research centre, concludes that hate crimes and crimes of passion are directed towards Muslims by members of society who are motivated by the views of political extremists and media commentators, reports the Guardian.

"Islamophobic, negative and unwarranted portrayals of Muslim London as Londonistan and Muslim Londoners as terrorists, sympathisers and subversives in sections of the media appear to provide the motivation for a significant number of anti-Muslim hate crimes," it says.

The report was constructed around interviews with subjects ranging from Muslims who had been the bunt of hate crimes, witnesses of such crimes, gang members, police and former members of extremist political parties such as the British National Party. From the evidence collated in the course of these interviews the report is comfortable with amking the assertion that hate crimes from spitting to murder are the product of influence.

“The report provides prima facie and empirical evidence to demonstrate that assailants of Muslims are invariably motivated by a negative view of Muslims they have acquired from either mainstream or extremist nationalist reports or commentaries in the media,” it reads.

 It is found that the majority of crimes against Muslims cannot be attributed to any type of gang, rather they are committed by individuals who through their devout observation of comments made by right wing extremists in the media and in politics feel motivated to commit to an abuse of some description.

“Perpetrators of anti-Muslim hate crimes are not gangs but rather simply individuals from a wide range of backgrounds who feel licensed to abuse, assault and intimidate Muslims in terms that mirror elements of mainstream media and political comment that became commonplace during the last decade,” it says.

 The study also identifies that the violent targetting of Muslims by far exceedes that of abuse directed towards other ethnic communites such as the black and Asian communities. Furthermore, that this abuse is also triggered by a theological and social difference. While cars, clothes, jewelry, casual sex, alcohol, drugs and clubbing are popular parts of youth life in a great diversity of London’s ethnic populations, it is not within the Islamists. This difference is said to divide and to breed mistrust.

Dr Lambet won an MBE and widespread applause for his management of Scotland Yard's Muslim contact unit, which had the aim of improving relations between the police and Britain's Islamic communities.

He and Dr Githens-Mazer have announced their intentions to next conduct a study and produce a document which charts the issue throughout the whole of Britain by the end of the year.

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