Islamophobia is not a myth. Many innocent Muslims have suffered discrimination, hate and unwarranted attacks around the world, in the aftermath of some deadly terrorist attacks by some radicalized Muslims or a group that can be referred to as “co-religionists”.
A Muslim family said they were accused of being terrorists while on a holiday trip to the United Kingdom, adding that they were stared at, like “some kind of aliens” at the Lincolnshire seaside town of Skegness.
One of the victims spoke with Tell Mama [an organisation that records Islamophobic hate crimes in the UK], saying: “Once we reached the main area where there were shops, we noticed a lot of people just staring at us as if we were some kind of aliens.
“It didn’t really bother us until we walked past the pub and a man shouted terrorists.”
“As we went to the beach again, a lot of people continuously stared at us. We just smiled back, but it made us think how ignorant these people are,” the woman said.
The family went to a shop to see if they could buy some seaside “rocks”, and the seller questioned if they don’t feel hot in hijabs.
One answered in the negative and had to display the fabric in confirmation. The women left her shop afterwards.
“It really made us sad and made us miss the area we are from and also made us reflect on how different people are in England. It opened my eyes to the nasty comments Muslims get,” she explained to Tell Mama.
The group of 12 women, out of which 7 wore hijabs, said in their statement that they visited the town for the first time and never knew people around there are halfsighted, adding that they won’t be returning to that location.
Tell MAMA told local media it is concerned about the way the family had been treated.
“The family will not be returning back to Skegness and such incidents will no doubt impact on wider perceptions within Muslim communities around areas,” the organisation said.
“This is also worrying since communities need to feel comfortable around each other in our country, rather than feeling polarized We are sure that the people of Skegness are not reflected through the actions of a few,” it added.
The organisation says the effect of Islamophobic abuse on Muslim women, especially those wearing a hijab, had become so bad that many women could no longer conduct day-to-day activities.
According to the organisation, a 326 per cent rise in incidents of anti-Muslim hate crime has been recorded since last year, from 146 incidents to 437.
Lincolnshire police said they had not received any reports of the incident.
A spokesperson for the police said: “We would encourage anybody who feels they have been a victim of a hate crime to report it to us.”