WORKING TOWARDS A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF ISLAMOPHOBIA
This paper explores the wider experience of racial and religious hate crimes, specifically anti-Muslim hate, through the use of semi-structured interviews. Importantly, the aim of the paper is to look at the experience and impact of anti-Muslim hate, and Islamophobia by Muslims and by those who are ‘misidentified’ by perpetrators as being Muslim. The experience of non-Muslim victims is key, as it has been comparatively neglected in existing research into Islamophobia. The article then moves on to the consequences that this experience can have upon the victim and their wider community as captured by reporting centres. These centres are a legacy of the Macpherson Inquiry and subsequent Hate Crime Action Plans to address the issue of the underreporting of hate crimes and community engagement. Finally, this article looks at the effectiveness of initiatives, victim support and community engagement as per the recommendations of the Macpherson Inquiry. Overall, the findings suggest that more coordinated efforts need to be made in regards to how the police engage with minority communities. Further recommendations would be to engage local communities and organisations to establish long-term initiatives and projects, with sufficient funding to support victims of not only hate crime but also anti-Muslim hate.