Following the EU referendum, reports of racism in the UK rose dramatically. We spoke to three British Muslim women at the Ahmadiyya Muslim Festival - a gathering which aims to combat terrorism and extremism - about what it’s like to wear a headscarf post-Brexit.
Last month, the head of the National Police Chiefs’ Council said the debate had directly led to an increase in reporting of hate crimes.
“It is very clear in the last couple of weeks that more people have been aware of experiencing such incidents than we have had before,” explained Mark Hamilton.
Reports to police increased by 42% in the two weeks surrounding the vote - equating to more than 3,000 hate crime allegations across Britain.
“Some people took that as a licence to behave in a racist or other discriminatory way,” Hamilton added at the time. “We can not divorce the country’s reaction to the referendum and the increase in hate crime reporting.”
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Anti-Muslim hate group Tell MAMA warned of heightened racism following Brexit.
The group’s annual survey had found a 326% rise in Islamophobic incidents during 2015. Chairman Shahid Malik said the UK stood in “unchartered territory”.
“The statistics paint a profoundly bleak picture of the explosion of anti-Muslim hate both online and on our streets,” he added, “with visibly Muslim women being disproportionately targeted by cowardly hatemongers.”