By Youssef El Kaidi
By Youssef El Kaidi
Morocco World News
Fez, June 12, 2013
Following the killing of a British soldier on a street in London, press reports indicate that the British people have grown more intolerant towards Muslims and see them as a threat to the future of the Kingdom.
The frenzied attack and beheading of a British soldier on a London street on May 22, 2013 and the video of the perpetrator of the crime brandishing his knife and vowing to “cut the throats of the enemies of Muslims” have caused much damage to the image of Islam and Muslims in the UK. Many press reports revealed that the British people have become more intolerant towards Muslims and aggressions (verbal and physical harassment) are remarkably increasing.
London has historically been a diverse city and home for many ethnic and religious minorities. Therefore, Londoners developed an incomparable sense of tolerance and acceptance of religious, cultural and ethnic otherness. However, London after the Woolwich attack is no longer the city it used to be before the attack, as the correspondent of Sky News Arabic Achraf Saad said in his article “O Muslims, Get out of our Land.”
The journalist reports that he has been verbally harassed three times in one week in London for the first time during his six-year stay in London. The act of harassment three times in one week after the Woolwich incident indicates the amount of anger in the English society at Muslims irrespective of whether they are Arabs, Africans, or Asians, as they put all in the same basket.
Perhaps what fueled the feeling of intolerance and Islamophobia, besides some media reports that tend to indict Islam instead of considering terror crimes as mere individual acts, is the move of the English Defense League, the British National party and the Independence Party which, immediately after the attack, began talking about the burden of Muslims on the country and its future, warning of new attacks and criticizing the government for its “lenience” in dealing with immigrants.
Under this tense situation, Muslim leaders called on the British government to provide greater protection for them and for their religious institutions, especially after a Somali mosque and a social centre were burned to ashes by what is presumed to be right-wing militants. They said that Muslims are worried about their lives and the lives of their children after the attacks against Muslims, which amounted to more than 200 reported attacks in different parts of the country.