Home Office data released in October showed a 9% increase in religious hate crime offences, from 8,602 to 9,387, in the year ending March 2023 – the highest number of religious hate crimes since the time reporting began. 2 in 5 of all religious hate crime offences were targeted against Muslims. As such, 39% of all religiously motivated hate crimes (3,452 offences) targeted Muslims, making Muslims the most targeted faith group.
The number of anti-Muslim hate incidents and Islamophobia nationally has increased as a result of the conflict in Palestine, and there have even been bomb threats to major mosques nationally.
Luton Borough Council released a statement at the beginning of November to encourage reporting of Islamophobia and crack down on hate crime. This was supported by social media updates on Facebook and X.
Nationally, the Muslim Council of Britian joined Amnesty International and Muslim Women’s Network in hosting an Islamophobia Awareness Month 2023 parliamentary drop-in session. The Discover Islam centre also organised corporate presentations and activities as part of IAM2023.
Anyone who believes they are a victim of or witnesses Islamophobia or any hate crime or incident – in person or online – should report it to the police either online, by calling 111 (24/7) or by visiting a police station. Luton Mosques also support victims of Islamophobia with pastoral care services.