Aiming to woo Muslim voters, the Tories announced plans to enforce new measure that would make anti-Muslim hate crimes as serious as anti-Semitic attacks, in case they won general elections next May 7. “We will require police forces to record anti-Muslim crimes as well as anti-Semitic crimes,” Home secretary, Theresa May, pledged in a speech on counter-extremism to the Foundation for Peace in London just before Parliament was dissolved, the Daily Mail reported. Under the new measures, police will be required to report Islamophobic attacks under a separate category like as anti-Semitic crimes.
The new proposal comes as Islamophobic attack across Europe reached unprecedented levels. It precedes elections in which Tories and Labours are competing to gain Muslim votes. According to TELL MAMA, the number of hate crimes targeting Muslim women has witnessed a 5-10% increase over the last 18 months. An earlier report by think-tank Chatham House identified a considerable Islamophobic sentiment in Britain, detecting a “wide reservoir of public sympathy for claims that Islam and the growth of Muslim communities pose a fundamental threat to the native group and nation.” Hundreds of anti-Muslim hate offences have been carried out across UK in 2013, with Britain’s Metropolitan police recording an increase of 49% more than 2012.