On Monday, May 22, the world was yet again rocked by a terrorist attack. The attack followed a script we have become all too familiar with — a terrorist set off a bomb in a crowded public place, killing and wounding dozens of people.
This latest attack was at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England. Many of the concertgoers were children and teenagers. The setting is one many of us can imagine ourselves in, feeling excited and having fun — until an unimaginable tragedy hits. The mere thought is deeply, deeply scary.
But there’s one group that is even more frightened than the average public citizen. After the shock of the latest terrorist incident has worn off for many, the Muslim community in the United Kingdom will continue to deal with the reverberations. Anti-Muslim hate crimes in the U.K. have spiked, and there are fears that Monday’s attack could mean an even greater increase. And the numbers are rising in the United States, too. Here’s what you need to know about the anti-Muslim hate crimes in the U.K.:
Terrorist incidents in recent years have led to a surge in anti-Muslim sentiment in the U.K. The spike in hate crimes tends to happen in the immediate aftermath of an attack. For example, after the 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris and Tunisia, the Muslim community experienced major backlash. The group TellMAMA (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks), which tracks anti-Muslim incidents within the U.K., found that the number of incidents where U.K. Muslims were being physically or verbally assaulted in places like schools, colleges, restaurants, and public transportation, rose 326% in 2015. There was also a spike after the March 22 incident this year when a terrorist drove a car into pedestrians near the Palace of Westminster in London.