It is now clear that there are many British citizens who are intent on murdering or harming Muslim men, women and children, writes Roshan Muhammed Salih.
Last week saw a Somali community centre in Muswell Hill burnt to the ground. The centre was used to teach children Arabic and the Quran. EDL graffiti was found on the walls of the mosque and EDL supporters later took to social media to make jokes about the attack.
Last night there was another deliberate fire set at an Islamic boarding school in Chiselhurst.
And according to the Tell Mama charity, since the murder of a British soldier in Woolwich a few weeks ago – a murder that was done by Muslims but had nothing to do with Muslims – there have been hundreds of Islamophobic attacks across the country.
Moreover, Muslims traditionally don’t report attacks because they have no confidence that the authorties will deal with them. Therefore, it’s safe to assume that the actual number of Islamophobic attacks is much higher.
My point is that hatred against Muslims in the UK is out of control.
First and foremost I blame British governments (past and present) for stirring up Islamphobia in this country by invading Muslim lands and thus causing the inevitable blowback.
Secondly, I blame the right-wing media which has consistently demonized Muslims as crazy, religious fanatics.
Thirdly, I blame the left-wing media for also demonizing Islam and Muslims but in a more sophisticated way.
Be in no doubt that it is the government and establishment media which have laid the groundwork for the hordes of ignorant Islamphobes to harm and attempt murder. The EDL are only the symptoms, they are not the cause.
And I would add that this Islamophobia is a much bigger problem than the “Islamic extemism” which the government spends hundreds of millions on confronting through its flawed counter-terrorism and counter-radicalizaton policies.
So what should the authorities do?
First of all, I’m glad that the police have announced that they will patrol senstive Islamic sites although this is obviously just a temporary sticking-plaster.
More fundamentally, the authorities must vigorously pursue anyone who attacks Muslims phyisically or verbally. They should start by prosecuting journalists who stir up hate and anyone on social media who does the same.
But ultimately even this is a sticking-plaster as long as Britain is involved in foreign wars in Muslim nations. If they just got the hell out and concentrated on their own considerable domestic issues they would save themselves a huge counter-terrorism bill.
And what should Muslims do?
Well I think we should keep banging home the point until we are blue in the face that British foreign policy is at least 80 per cent of the reason why community relations are so poor in this country. And only if this issue is addressed will things have a chance to improve.
And we should also focus our campaigns on the Islamophobic media coverage of Islam and Muslims and aggressively (but peacefully) target those journalists who instigate this hatred.
We should also seriously think about organising patrols outside our mosques and neighbourhoods (at least in the short-term).
More fundamentally, we have to realize that we are all in the same boat. For the average EDL member we are all just “ragheads” or “pakis.” They don’t care about our nationality or sect. So the differences between us should not divide us otherwise we will remain ripe for exploitation.
As for the tiny minority of extremist nutcases in our midst, well personally I think we have already done what we can to condemn and marginalize them. They are not part of our community so I’m not really sure how we are expected to deal with them.
So the ball is mostly in the government’s court.