HOPE NOT HATE warned yesterday that anti-Muslim hatred was on the rise with the “counter-jihadism movement” turning nastier every day.
The anti-racist group will publish a report today arguing that intolerance and fear of Muslims are the “glue” that binds groups like Britain First and the English Defence League (EDL) together.
Former EDL leader Tommy Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, announced last week that he would set up a British branch of German far-right group Pegida.
Mr Robinson, who tried to launch a Prophet Mohamed “cartoon competition” with Ukip’s Anne Marie Waters and EDL financier Alan Ayling, had claimed that campaigning against Islam “is not far right, it doesn’t make you an extremist and it doesn’t make you a bigot.”
His new group is expected to stage “simultaneous demonstrations” with racists across Europe to stir up trouble and tension, Hope Not Hate said.
Hope Not Hate chief executive Nick Lowles said: “Hatred of Muslims is moving from the margins to the political mainstream.
“Violence and prejudice against Muslims is increasing as anti-Muslim extremists seek to exploit tensions over immigration and home-grown jihadism.”
The rate of Islamophobic incidences has more than trebled in London alone, when comparing the week before the Paris shootings with three days after, the Star reported last week.
This is due to tighter security and rising anxiety resulting from the refugee crisis and attacks claimed to be done in the name of Islam, the counter-jihad movement report says.
Mr Lowles added: “The very fabric of our multiracial and multifaith societies is going to be severely tested in the next few years and it is incumbent on us all to strengthen the bonds that unify liberal democracies.
“It is important that authorities take this challenge seriously.
“Far-right and anti-Muslim groups are becoming more right-wing and yet they are still categorised as a public order problem rather than as the extreme far right.”
The report profiles 920 groups and individuals, ranging from criminals to extremist columnists, politicians, academics and financial backers across 22 countries.