Today marks the three month anniversary of Hamas’s attack on Israel, and the escalation of the conflict has had a terrible impact on those in the area and beyond.
Tensions have ramped up all over the world, harming both Jewish and Muslim communities.
The UK is no exception to this and while most people are able to express their views peacefully and respectfully, we have sadly seen too many instances of antisemitism and Islamophobia.
In the month immediately following Hamas’s attack on Israel, the Community Security Trust noted a 514% increase in acts of antisemitic incidents this year compared to the same period last year, which is also reflected in data from police forces across the UK released last week.
Meanwhile, Muslim Council of Britain has also noted a troubling surge in Islamophobic attacks, stating: ‘Over the course of this devastating conflict, we have seen a surge of hate crime, with a 140% increase in Islamophobic offences in London alone’.
Organisations may collate their data differently, but the important thing for all of us to note is that these worrying incidents are on the rise.
Yet, amazingly, according to Hansard records, Rishi Sunak has never once uttered the word ‘Islamophobia’ in the House of Commons – he has only referred to it as ‘anti-Muslim hate’.
This doesn’t cut it. It is not good enough to redefine something – if we do not name the problem, we can’t possibly tackle it.
Sunak shouldn’t shy away from using the word, in the same way he doesn’t with antisemitism, which he has mentioned in Parliament 16 times since the war started.
It is imperative that from the Prime Minister down, the Tories need to start calling this hatred what it is – and invest time and more money in stamping out Islamophobia.
Drone footage shows wide scale destruction of Gaza after seven weeks of war