British soldier death sparks anti-Muslim ‘crusade’

People look at flowers and flags left in memory of British soldier Lee Rigby at the scene of his murder in Woolwich, southeast London May 27, 2013. Credit: Reuters
People look at flowers and flags left in memory of British soldier Lee Rigby at the scene of his murder in Woolwich, southeast London May 27, 2013.
Credit: Reuters

Hate crimes against Muslims and support for ultra-nationalist groups have risen dramatically following the murder of British soldier Lee Rigby on May 22.

Reports of Islamophobic crimes are ten times higher than normal, according to the Measuring anti-Muslim Attacks (MAMA) helpline. Ten mosques have reported attacks including arson attacks, and many businesses have been vandalized.

“This is the highest peak of Islamophobia”, said MAMA spokesman Fiyaz Mughal. “It’s spread across the country and it’s clear that the level is growing and only needs a trigger incident to explode.”

The Grimsby Mosque in Northern England was targeted with two petrol bomb attacks at the weekend with several people inside. “We want to continue our normal activities but of course people are scared”, said the Imam Dr Ahmad Sabik. “We immediately condemned the crime in London, the mosque is a center of peace.”

The English Defence League (EDL) which claims it is “at war” with Islam and has links to Norwegian mass-murderer Anders Brevik has surged since the killing. Thousands of supporters marched through London Monday, chanting anti-Muslim songs such as “Who the f*** is Allah”, with several making Nazi salutes. The EDL, and fellow extreme right group the British National Party, are planning a ‘crusade’ in the coming weeks, with a major event Saturday.

The groups’ popularity has been revived since just 100 people attended a St. George’s Day rally in April. The EDL Facebook page has risen from 30,000 to 130,000 in the last week.

Several EDL members have been arrested for violent crimes, including against non-Muslims such as student Tom Stephens, who was attacked in a park. “They were drunk and asked me why I was not in the party”, Stephens, 25, told Metro. “When I made to leave one punched me in the face.”

Anti fascist group Searchlight say the surge is temporary. “People that dropped out are coming back rather than new recruits”, said spokesman Matthew Collins. “The movement is doing well on social media but we judge them offline.” However, anti-fascist groups must do more to fight Islamic extremism, Collins added.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

African couple claiming misidentification in robbery case to…

At a bail hearing today for Vickson and Lorfu Korlewala, charged in the robbery of an 80-year-old woman, bail was reduced from $1 million total to $500,000.

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

National

Divers struggle in search for South Korean ferry…

By Jungmin Jang and Narae KimMOKPO/JINDO, South Korea (Reuters) - Rescuers struggled with strong waves and murky waters on Thursday as they searched for hundreds…

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

Music

Both feet on the ground with Aimee Mann…

What began with a cool double-bill of Ted Leo opening for Aimee Mann morphed into a full-fledged collaborative project that they're calling The Both. “There…

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.