The Independent Falsely Claims ‘Islamophobic’ Attack

independent1‘Islamophobic’ hate crime is up by 70% in England’s capital, we’re informed by the BBC today ahead of their scheduled documentary ‘Inside Out: Behind The Veil‘. A concerning headline indeed. These new stats come via the Metropolitan Police. I soon apply the brakes to my outrage however when I notice Tell MAMA’s involvement in the BBC reporting, reminding me of some previous problems with stats of this nature.

Tell MAMA is an organisation that records instances of anti-Muslim hate in the UK. A worthy project on paper, yet they were found to be exaggerating anti-Muslim attacks last year. Fudging the data if you will.

After Drummer Rigby was murdered on the streets of London by Muslim fanatics, Tell MAMA’s founder Fiyaz Mughal took to the airwaves to claim a dramatic rise in ‘Islamophobic’ incidents, stating “The scale of the backlash is astounding,” and “I do not see an end to this cycle of violence”.

However, as reported by Andrew Gilligan in the Telegraph:

What Tell Mama and Mughal did not tell us at the time, however, was that 57 per cent of its 212 “incidents” took place only online, mainly offensive postings on Twitter and Facebook. They did not say that a further 16 per cent of the 212 reports had not been verified. They forgot to mention that not all the online abuse even originated in Britain.

Contrary to the group’s claim of an unending “cycle of violence” and a “wave of attacks”, only 17 of the 212 incidents, 8 per cent, involved the physical targeting of people and there were no attacks on anyone serious enough to require medical treatment. The supposed Bolton attack never happened. There were a further 13 attacks on Islamic buildings, four of them serious.

Mughal wasn’t best pleased with this information being highlighted, and attempted to bring libel charges against The Telegraph. And lost. As a result, the UK government pulled their funding from Tell MAMA. Needless to say, the new Met data may be accurate, but I’m reluctant to accept it at face value without having a full understanding of how they collected it and what their criteria is, so will be taking the time to comb through it first (as many initially failed to do with Tell MAMA).

Anyhow, it seems The Independent’s Ryan Ramgobin was after a piece of tonight’s television buzz when he published the articleTeenager wearing hijab knocked unconscious demonstrates rise in hate crime in London‘.

The article recounts the truly horrific attack on hijab wearing Tasneem Kabir (16 at the time) at the hands of Michael Ayoade in 2012. Be advised: the below video makes for uncomfortable viewing.

Ramgobin’s piece would have you believe that this disgusting crime reveals ‘the reality of what many Young Muslim women face today’ and ‘The CCTV video is just one example of Islamophobic attacks across the capital‘ (emphasis mine).

What the article fails to mention however, is that the despicable Michael Ayoade targeted women, not Muslims. In fact, he had previously attacked another (non-Muslim) woman in the same way – who failed to merit a mention in Ramgobin’s report.

He revealed his motivations when apprehended by the police, also reported by The Telegraph:

When arrested by officers, the 34 year-old, of Plaistow, told officers that he had attacked her because “she didn’t have a friendly face” and said that “she had started it” – even saying she had “intimidated him”.

Ayoade told police that the schoolgirl “made (him) feel like a pauper with her facial gestures” and that he “couldn’t cope with taking an insult from a little person like that”.


This is sloppy journalism from The Independent and only serves to increase tensions. Any attacks on innocent citizens are inexcusable, but spinning this as an anti-Muslim hate crime is simply dishonest. Ramgobin has failed to inform the concerned, hijab wearing readers of The Independent, but instead, likely succeeded in making them more fearful.

Not to mention those who deny the existence of anti-Muslim hate altogether will be encouraged by the newspaper’s deception. This also shifts focus from the problem of misogynistic violence in general, boxing it off as solely an anti-Muslim problem. I would urge readers to ask The Independent and Ryan Ramgobin to provide a clarification.

Stephen Knight is host of The #GSPodcast. You can listen to The Godless Spellchecker Podcast here, and support it by becoming a patron here.