Anti-Muslim Incidents Soar Across Britain

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
May 25 2013 11:42 AM

Anti-Muslim Incidents Soar Across Britain After Wednesday’s Murder in London

In the days following the murder of a British soldier in London, there has been a huge spike in anti-Muslim incidents, according to an interfaith charity. Faith Matters, an organization that works to reduce extremism, says it has received 162 calls on its helpline since Wednesday’s attack, a sharp increase from the six calls it receives on an average day. The incidents range from name calling and abuse on social media, to the painting of graffiti, attacks against mosques, and pulling off women’s headscarves in the street. The director of the group told the BBC that what is most concerning is “the spread of these incidents” that are “coming in from right across the country.” Some of these attacks “are quite aggressive, very focused, very aggressive attacks,” Fiyaz Mughal said.

Police have arrested several people since Wednesday, including three men who were detained for allegedly making offensive comments on Twitter and two men who will be charged with threatening behavior at a fast food restaurant, details the Guardian.

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Meanwhile, British police arrested a man who described himself as a friend of one of the suspects after he gave an interview to the BBC Friday night. Abu Nusaybah told the BBC that one of the two men arrested after the murder Wednesday had been approached by Britain’s domestic intelligence service. According to Nusaybah, Britain’s MI5 approached Michael Adebolajo about six months ago and asked him whether he wanted to work for them. He rejected the offer. The BBC was not able to confirm the offer that allegedly happened after Adebolajo returned from a trip to Kenya. The police entered the BBC offices and waited for the interview to conclude before arresting Nusaybah, a BBC staffer tells CNN. Scotland Yard claims the arrest is not directly related to the Woolwich murder investigation, only noting that the 31-year-old man was wanted on terrorism charges.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

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