HATE crime against Muslims in London has more than trebled since the recent Paris attacks, according to Scotland Yard figures revealed yesterday.
In the week to Tuesday November 10 — three days before the massacre in the French capital — police in London received 24 reports of Islamophobic incidents.
The number almost doubled to 46 in the following seven days to November 17, during which the atrocity in Paris took place.
And there was a further rise in the week ending November 24, when the tally soared to 76.
This is a whopping increase of 216 per cent. The majority of incidents involved harassment and verbal abuse.
Steve Rose of the Tell Mama (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks) project said Muslims who wear Islamic clothing such as loose robes and headscarves are most at risk of harassment and violence.
This is particularly a problem for lone women in public — as attackers, who are often white men, see them as easy targets.
Mr Rose told the Star: “What proved alarming in the wake of the most recent Paris attacks was the number of women reporting incidents to our service.
“Perpetrators were often white male. This dynamic comes down to the perception of Muslim identity and how some men wrongly feel they can bully, threaten, and attack women.
“That perception often stems from Islamic clothing and the ethnicity of the individual.”
A woman wearing the niqab full-face veil who was standing near the doors of the 333 bus in south London was physically assaulted on Wednesday.
A white man aged around 55 punched her twice in the back. He “calmly walked off the bus and muttered something to the woman,” according to Tell Mama.
No passengers helped her even though they witnessed the attack.
A Met Police spokesman said that extra officers are on patrol and that they are in contact with local mosques “while closely monitoring the situation.”
But often many victims do not report to authorities.
The key to tackling underreporting is to “encourage and empower Muslim communities about the benefits of reporting hate incidents” so they can receive confidential support, Mr Rose said.
Muslims are more likely to be targeted in religiously motivated attacks than followers of other faiths — as shown by analysis of the Crime Survey for England and Wales.
Tory PM David Cameron has announced that Islamophobic incidences will be recorded as a separate category like anti-semitic attacks have been for some time.