| ||The BBC Asian Network has a report today on the growing number of religious hate crime incidents affecting Muslim women in Scotland and their failure to refer them to the police. |
According to the Muslim helpline Amina half of the calls they receive involve incidents of hate crime and yet, only one in four of those who are victims of hate crime will bother to report the incident to the police.
Widespread apathy, ignoring them because they happen so often, or sidelining them, because victims feel there is little the police can do to curtail them, are some of the reasons given for the low number of hate crime incidents recorded.
Take the example of Shamala Shaukat, resident of Glasgow, who was verbally assaulted and reduced to tears in a city park by a man who abused her on account of her face veil.
"Take that thing off, that's not effing on."
"Look there's (sic) kids in the park and you're scaring them" he said.
"You shouldn't be here, where are you effing from?"
"Are you British? Don't tell me you're British. If you're from Afghanistan you should all have been shot. If you're from Baghdad you should have been bombed.'"
Chief Inspector Jane Black, of the Equality and Diversity unit at Strathclyde Police, strongly urged victims to report hate crime incidents to the police.
"If they have been assaulted or verbally abused and they believe it's because of their race or religion then that's sufficient for us”, she said.
The helpline itself is urging Muslim women to come forward to report any attacks and to break the cycle of despondency in reaction to hate crime incidents.
"They need to do it to show that this is unacceptable. Older generations, they were more inclined to sort of sign it off.
"Should anything happen you need to report it because it's not acceptable, and if you're not doing it for yourself, do it for your family. Do it for your kids", it said.
It is worth noting that statistics on hate crimes against Muslims in the UK rely upon figures collated by the police authorities, among other sources. By not reporting abuses Muslims not only forgo their right to redress grievances through prosecutions, but they also fail to support the documentation of Muslim hate crimes in a meaningful way.
You can catch the BBC Asian Network feature on iPlayer, here.
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