Muslim community targeted after Woolwich horror
By politics.co.uk staff
A dramatic increase in incidents targeting Britain's Muslim community has been registered following the Woolwich terrorist murder.
Faith Matters' director Fiyal Mughal said attacks against mosques, graffiti, verbal abuse had all increased since Wednesday, when Drummer Lee Rigby was brutally murdered close to Woolwich Barracks.
He said his not-for-profit organisation, which works to reduce extremism and interfaith tensions, usually receives an average of around six calls a day to report anti-Muslim incidents. Since Wednesday it has received 162.
"What's really concerning is the spread of these incidents," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.
"They're coming in from right across the country."
Mughal said many of the incidents were "very focused, very aggressive attacks". He also warned of a substantial surge in online activity.
This suggests "coordination of incidents and attacks against institutions or places where Muslims congregate" is taking place, he warned.
A number of people have been charged after messages appeared on social media websites.
Three men from the north-east have been arrested over allegedly racist tweets.
Meanwhile the investigation into the Woolwich incident took another unexpected step last night, after counter-terrorism officers arrested a friend of 28-year-old Michael Adebolajo, the man videoed shortly after the attack claiming it was a response to Muslims' death at British hands elsewhere in the world.
Abu Nusaybah had alleged Adebolajo was radicalised after being physically and sexually abused in an interrogation in Kenya and being approached by MI5.