By TOM MURRAY | 07.02.2018In recent years, Britain has seen an increase in the number of homophobic and transphobic incidents, with reports suggesting the number has doubled since 2015.
According to the National Secular Society, the number is on the rise due to the growth of Islamophobia in the UK.
In 2017, there were more than 1,200 reported incidents of homophobic, transphobia and xenophobic incidents in the country, according to data compiled by the Centre for Social Cohesion (CSF).
According to a report by the anti-hate group Stonewall, the increase is partly due to a surge in anti-Muslim prejudice in recent years.
“The problem is not that we are now seeing more Islamophobic incidents, but that there is a surge of Islamophobic acts and attacks on people because of their religion,” said Paul Mason, Stonewalls senior researcher and head of hate crime research.
He said this trend has been fuelled by a backlash against Muslims in recent times, which has seen a spike in the “bigotry of the internet”.
“People are just starting to understand that Islamophobia is not just about Islam, it’s about being Muslim in the modern world and being accepted in society,” Mr Mason said.
“This is why I think the issue of hate crimes against Muslims is particularly important.”
The CSF, which tracks hate crime statistics across the country with the help of social media data, found that the number had increased from 1,100 in 2016 to 1,340 in 2017, with the total number of incidents in England and Wales doubling from 692 in 2016, to 921 in 2017.
Mr Mason said he was concerned that homophobic attacks were being seen in Britain at the same time as homophobic crimes against trans people, saying: “There is a perception in some quarters that homophobia is more widespread in the British media, but we don’t see it as the main issue.”
According to Mr Mason, there are two main ways in which Islamophobia can be expressed.
“Firstly, Islamophobia might be expressed as a general hatred for Muslims.
But secondly, the general hatred may be expressed through a specific form of Islamaphobia,” he said.
The second form of hate that is expressed is “anti-Muslim bigotry”, which has been linked to the increased use of social distancing and the targeting of Muslims in particular.
“That is the one thing that has been particularly concerning for people, is that this is one of the main areas where they have been targeted by the Muslim community,” Mr Moor said.
“People have been told to stay away from Muslims because of Islam.”
The increase in anti Muslim bigotry has led to the creation of a group of organisations called the Muslim Advisory Council, which is dedicated to countering Islamophobia and has previously worked with the Muslim Council of Britain and the Council of British Muslim Communities.”
The fear is that the Islamophobia will spread to other Muslim communities.”
The increase in anti Muslim bigotry has led to the creation of a group of organisations called the Muslim Advisory Council, which is dedicated to countering Islamophobia and has previously worked with the Muslim Council of Britain and the Council of British Muslim Communities.
According the Muslim Association of Britain, there has been an increase of incidents of homophobia and trans-phobia since 2015, with a total of 913 incidents reported in 2017 (the most recent year for which figures are available).
According a CSF report, incidents of transphophobia were up by almost a third in 2017 compared to 2016, with 1,749 reported incidents in 2017 and 2,742 in 2016.
“As transphobes and other people of non-binary genders become more visible, homophobia against trans* people has increased as well,” said Dr Yvonne Moxley, chair of the CSF’s Muslim Advisory Committee.
“It has become increasingly common for trans people to be referred to as ‘the other’ or ‘the non-man’ when speaking about gender, so that people feel more comfortable using derogatory and insulting language to refer to trans* individuals.”
She added that Islamophobic hate crimes “have not been a problem for the past decade”.
“We have seen a number of examples of Islamophobes and trans*phobics taking advantage of Islam as a religion for their own ends,” she said.
Dr Moxyley also said there is evidence that Islam is a way of life that is “at the root” of prejudice.
“Islam has been used as a way to divide people, to divide communities, and to silence dissent,” she added.
“People feel they are being targeted for their beliefs.”
The report said that there was a “fear” that this will happen again in the coming years.
Dr Mason said the Muslim Religious Council of England is currently working with the Ministry of Justice and the Department of Health on a response plan to tackle Islamophobia.
“We will need to look at what