Launch of report based on Tell Mama data takes place as part of Fascist Ideologues Past and Present conference
“What is significant about our analysis is the extent to which the far right is implicated in anti-Muslim hate crime online. Of the organisations that are specifically identified, the English Defence League, rather than the BNP, is by far the most active organisation making its presence felt in this particular domain."
Professor Nigel Copsey
A new report based on data collated by Tell Mama (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks) shows that three-quarters of anti-Muslim hate crime reported is taking place online, with the English Defence League highlighted as the far-right group implicated in the majority of internet attacks.
The report which was co-authored by Professor Nigel Copsey, Dr Janet Dack, Mark Littler and Dr Matthew Feldman is being launched this afternoon as part of a two day international conference to mark the official opening of Teesside University’s Centre for Fascist, Anti-Fascist and Post Fascist Studies.
Data collected by Tell Mama reveals a surge in physical anti-Muslim attacks since the murder of Lee Rigby in Woolwich, rising from 1.5 reported incidents per day to 6-7 reported incidents. The report also examines the connection between far-right groups and online incidents. You can read the full report here.
The report is based on data from the Tell MAMA (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks) project set up in 2012 by Faith Matters. It primarily covers a period from 1 April 2012 to 30 April 2013, with additional data complied post-Woolwich.
It shows that from 1 April 2012 to 30 April 2013, there were 584 recorded incidents of anti-Muslim hate crimes, though around two thirds of these incidents were not reported to the police – highlighting that under-reporting remains a significant problem.
Of the recorded incidents, three-quarters occurred online and involved insults, abusive behaviour and threats of offline action.
Professor Copsey also found that although the majority of offline incidents did not have a direct link to the far-right, the far-right was linked to almost 70% of reported online incidents.
“Clearly, the far-right is utilising the internet to disseminate its anti-Muslim vitriol more widely and more effectively,” explained Professor Copsey.
“What is significant about our analysis is the extent to which the far right is implicated in anti-Muslim hate crime online. Of the organisations that are specifically identified, the English Defence League, rather than the BNP, is by far the most active organisation making its presence felt in this particular domain.
“The majority of reported online cases did include threats of offline action and should not be underestimated. Online attacks might not always hit the headlines, but they can still have an emotionally distressing, and in some cases devastating effect on people’s lives and their communities.”
SRtRC staff members have been able to attend both days of the conference which has heard from a range of international speakers, examining issues such as the historical impact of key radical right figures, metapolitics and white power music. We would like to thank the Centre for Fascist , Anti-Fascist and Post-Fascist Studies at Teesside University for the opportunity to attend this fascinating conference.