Discrimination against Muslims in Britain has become so bad it is creating an "environment of hate," a new report has claimed
The report, produced by the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), even claims everyday life for Muslims in the UK has made the country "Stasi state" for them, a reference to the East German Secret Police who would spy on and harass the country's citizens.
In ‘Environment of Hate: The New Normal for Muslims In The UK’, the IHRC claimed British Muslims' lives were characterised by rising levels of abuse and discrimination.
Many Muslims surveyed felt that they were discriminated against by government policies
The report showed a rise in the feeling that Muslims are being discriminated against both in day-to-day Islamophobic acts and government policies.
Between 2010 and 2014, the number of people who reported witnessing Islamophobia directed at someone else leapt from 50% to 82%.
In the same period, the number of people stating they had witnessed negative stereotypes about Islam and Muslims jumped from 69% to 93%
The number of Muslims saying government policies were discriminating against them rose from 34% to 59%.
The report also took aim at the government’s Prevent programme, which is meant to stop people from becoming radicalised in the first place.
It said: “[Prevent's] reality is far more disturbing and perverse than just a chilling effect on free speech and dissent. It is the creation of a police state in all but name. A state in which the state is actively sharing the beliefs of communities using coercion and demonisation.”
Reaction to the report was mixed, with some, including the former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams, expressing concern at the findings.
Dr Williams said: "This report offers a structural analysis of contemporary British Islamophobia, demonstrating how policies and media representations have generated an environment in which Muslims are seen as worthy of hatred.
He added: “What is described here is a serious reproach to our society's most humane ideals and values.”
But Douglas Murray, associate director of The Henry Jackson Society, condemned the report as the “usual confection of non-research and pre-ordained ‘findings’ that you would expect from such an ideologically driven group”, writing in the Spectator.
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A Home Office spokesman said: "Prevent is about protecting those who might be vulnerable to the poisonous and pernicious influence of radicalisation.
“This is a job for all of us and we are continuing to work in partnership with communities of all faith backgrounds to challenge those who spread hatred and intolerance.
“We must work with the overwhelming majority of Muslims who abhor the twisted narrative that has seduced some of our people. We must continue to celebrate Islam as a great world religion of peace.
“This Government is committed to combating all forms of hate crime and has done more than any other to counter anti-Muslim hatred. Last month the Prime Minister announced that police forces in England and Wales will be required to record anti-Muslim hate crimes as a specific category in the recorded crime statistics for the first time.”
The full IHRC report is set to be published on November 16.