Tell Mama reports an increase in racist incidents following murder of Lee Rigby
“Many of us have seen a rise in racism on our own newsfeeds and timelines over the last two days. People should be aware that far-right groups will use this tragedy to further their own aims and create fear and division in our communities."
Ged Grebby, SRtRC Chief Executive
The Tell Mama hotline which records Islamophobic crimes and incidents reports an increase in racist incidents since the murder of British solider Lee Rigby in Woolwich.
On Wednesday night 38 incidents were reported, including attacks on three mosques, with more reported on Thursday.
The Guardian reports today say the Metropolitan police put 1,200 more officers on the street on Thursday, with extra patrols deployed to mosques and religious sites as far-right groups reacted to the tragedy.
A dramatic increase in support for far right groups such as the EDL has occurred online, with new followers on Twitter and ‘likes’ for their Facebook page.
The Telegraph reports that it is possible that over a million people have liked a Facebook page that may be covertly run by the EDL.
The page ‘RIP Woolwich Soldier’ features a similar image to the EDL’s own page on Facebook and began life with this post, "Time for the people who want to be apart of Britain to stand up against those who want to destroy us!"
Not only does this seem to be of a piece with your average typical EDL call to arms, both in tone and in substance, but it also contains a prominent typo, which has emerged as the fingerprint of the EDL (recent examples include "never submit to Aslan", rather than "Islam").
The incidents compiled by Tell Mama, which monitors news feeds and social media as well as taking calls from the public, included seven incidents of Muslims being abused – including being spat at or threatened in the streets – another five mosques being threatened, and dozens of other online threats.
On the "True British Patriots" Facebook page, there were calls for mosques in Watford in Hertfordshire and Morden, south London, to be burned down.
The incidents came despite prompt and unequivocal condemnation of the murder by leaders of Muslim groups, including the Muslim Council of Britain, the Ramadhan Foundation and the Islamic Society of Britain, as well as individual Muslims, a number of whom took to social networks to express their disgust.
Show Racism the Red Card Chief Executive Ged Grebby said “Many of us have seen a rise in racism on our own newsfeeds and timelines over the last two days. People should be aware that far-right groups will use this tragedy to further their own aims and create fear and division in our communities.
“Racism and hate are not the answers. It has been heartening to see a lot of people condemn online racism on their accounts. I hope that people will not be fooled by the rhetoric of far-right groups”