Here is a list of just some of the comments I receive on a daily basis: "OMG. That's a MAN!', "ERR. I'm not going near that", "Go kill yourself!", "You were born a man, so be a man!", "Your mum should be ashamed", "You dirty tranny", "I'm going to smash your face in, watch!", "you're going to hell". The list is endless.
An Iraq/Syria-based adherent of the self-proclaimed "Islamic State In Iraq and Al-Sham" terrorist group has been caught out online complaining about 'missing Starbucks' coffee. While seemingly trivial, the complaint actually offers a remarkable and rare insight into the entitled, privileged, westernised and deeply selfish mindset of ISIS's followers.
The idea that the entire Muslim community should be watched for signs of adherence to Islam, which will then lead to potential criminal activity, underpins Prevent and the CTS Act. It would be expected that with such policies and matching rhetoric, the public would begin to see the Muslim community living by Islam as a problem, criminal community that should be ostracised.
I've never been involved nor had a friend involved with a hate crime before. I didn't know what to expect or how that would feel. I've read stories in the news. I've read about 'The Sophie Lancaster Foundation' online. In fact, I first heard of it because of my friend Mika. On 13 July, Mika went out with one of his best friends - a girl who dresses alternatively and has a lot of tattoos. They were in a chicken shop in Soho when a couple of guys took a disliking to her alternative look. They threatened to stab her because of the way she was dressed, Mika stood in and was beaten so badly, he now has a fracture in his face.