Britain, always famous for being politically correct, has an “acceptance” of anti-Muslim rhetoric that would not be tolerated for other minorities, it has been claimed.
Matthew Feldman, who studies the contemporary far-right in Europe, also outlined how attacks on mosques or Muslim centres take place “less than once every fortnight” in the UK.
The academic spoke to the media in the wake of the suspected terror attack on Muslim worshippers in north London on Monday.
It followed recent jihadist-inspired attacks in Manchester and London Bridge, which Dr Feldman said had led to a spike in anti-Muslim hate crime.
He described a five-fold rise in reporting of Islamophobic crimes following the Manchester attack and a two-fold rise after the London Bridge atrocity.
Dr Feldman suggested there were “increased rates of reporting when the Muslim community feels more threatened and more at risk after events like these”.
But he also voiced fears such spikes never completely fell back to their previous level.
He told Sky News: “One of the concerns is that we don’t go back to normal, we have an elevated level of hate crimes and hate reported incidents after these kinds of attacks.”
Mohammed Khaliel, founder of community relations organisation Islamix, agreed “the level doesn’t come back to a lower base” after terror attack-related increases, adding: “It still remains at a slightly higher base.”
Mr Khaliel suggested part of the problem in tackling hate crime is the “resilience” of Muslims also rises, with many failing to report hate crimes due to the difficulty in securing convictions.
He said: “I’m forever telling Muslim women and others ‘report the crime’. They’ll just put up with minor crimes.”
Mr Khaliel described Muslim hijab-wearing women as the “silent victims” who have “seen the brunt of these attacks”.
He revealed how he recently witnessed someone spitting on Muslim women but they “just took that spit and moved on, rather than reporting it as a hate crime”.
Dr Feldman said: “Unlike all other forms of ethnically-based or faith-based hate attacks which are majority male-on-male, anti-Muslim hate attacks are majority male-on-female. That has to be very concerning.”
The Teeside University academic said the narrative used by both far-right extremists and jihadists of a looming “violent civil war” needed to be “vigorously contested”.
Dr Feldman also called for “all citizens of goodwill” to confront an “acceptance of anti-Muslim discourse that we would find absolutely noxious if it was about someone from an ethnic minority or other religious background”.
He said: “We’re looking at an attack on a mosque or a Muslim community centre less than once every fortnight over the last four years.
“I think that would be unacceptable with synagogues, with churches, with any other places of congregation for particular minority communities.”