News   /   Interviews

Far-right behind rise in UK hate crimes: Imam

Abdul Alim Musa, Imam of Masjid al-Islam in Washington

An Imam in Washington has warned of an increase in far-right-orchestrated hate crimes against minority groups, including Muslims, in Manchester and other British cities, where more cases of hateful behavior has been reported over the past year.

Abdul Alim Musa, Imam of Masjid al-Islam in Washington, told Press TV on Monday that a surge in the number of hate crimes against people from different racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds in the Greater Manchester area, as reported earlier in the day in the Guardian, was a result of increased activities of far-right groups who portray minorities as a threat to the European culture.

“When you mix that with the threat of European culture being invaded by Asian and African and Indian cultures ...Manchester is one of those cities that is highly sensitive,” said Musa while elaborating on the fact that Manchester is a city highly populated by Muslims of the indo-Pakistani origin.

The Imam further said that people from different backgrounds living in Manchester, including immigrants from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and other Asian countries and even Arabs, have felt the threat of hate crimes and hateful behavior more than other cities in the UK.

He said many of those minority groups are from countries that used to be colonized by Britain and far-right groups have portrayed their arrival in the UK and other European countries over the past 70 years as an invasion of the European culture.

“Hate crimes that are developing in the UK from neo-Nazi groups ... you see all of Europe is being influenced by this right-wing philosophy,” he said.

A new report shows that hateful behavior has reached unprecedented levels in the Greater Manchester area, with more than a third of residents in Britain’s second-most populous urban area reporting that they have been targeted with hate crimes because of their religion, race and ethnicity.

The results of the report published by the Guardian on Monday suggested that some 33 percent of respondents to a survey carried out in the city said they had experienced hate crime and some 16 percent said such experiences have been “frequent”. 

The report was launched at the request of Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham following the Manchester Arena bombing last year.

However, there was no indication in the survey that how many of the hate crimes and other cases of hateful behavior were related to Muslims.

In fact, the attack on the concert hall in May 2017, which killed 23 people, helped intensify Islamophobic campaigns in Britain and Manchester, leading to more hate crimes against Muslims.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku