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Muslim pro-Palestine supporter ‘could have been killed’ after brick hurled through window

A Muslim woman has told Sky News she “could have been killed” by a brick thrown through her window over her support for Palestine.

The woman, named only as Mahetab, believes her home was targeted because she had a Palestinian flag hanging in her window.

She spoke out as new figures revealed a sharp rise in recorded anti-Muslim hate in the UK since Hamas‘s attack on Israel on 7 October.

The number of Islamophobic incidents reported to a monitoring organisation has more than tripled in the wake of last year’s atrocity.

Read the latest on conflict in Middle East

Mahetab said she heard the window smashing around 2.30am on 5 February.

“I realised there [was] a large brick on the floor,” she told Sky News.

“The police told me, when they saw the brick, they said it could have killed me.”

Mahetab decided to speak publicly in a bid to put pressure on police and councils to take anti-Muslim hate seriously.

And she has vowed not to let the incident affect her.

Mahetab's window was smashed in the early hours of 5 February
Image: Mahetab’s window was smashed in the early hours of 5 February

“I will not be terrified by those people, they will not stop me from doing what I need to do, they will not stop me from supporting the case I believe is right,” she said.

“I have never thought about changing how I look because of these things because, this is me, I am a Muslim and this is [what] we look like.”

Mahetab said police could not find the person responsible.

In the four months since 1,200 Israelis were killed and around 250 taken hostage by Hamas from southern Israel, 2,010 cases of online and offline abuse have been recorded by Tell MAMA, a national project which logs and measures anti-Muslim incidents in the UK.

This is the largest recorded number of cases in four months since Tell MAMA started in 2011.

The organisation said the latest data is in stark contrast to a year before, when between 7 October 2022 and 7 February 2023, 310 offline cases and 290 online cases were recorded – a total of 600.

It follows more than 4,000 antisemitic incidents being recorded in the UK in 2023 by a Jewish charity, with the all-time high attributed to the “sheer volume” which took place after the 7 October attack.

The Community Security Trust (CST), a charity which provides protection for British Jews against antisemitic attacks, said the “explosion in hatred” is an “absolute disgrace”.

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‘An explosion of hatred’

‘Unacceptable in our country’

Out of the 901 off-line cases of anti-Muslim hate, there were 535 reports of abusive behaviour, 77 threats, 83 assaults, 79 acts of vandalism, 69 cases of discrimination, 39 acts of hate speech and 19 examples of anti-Muslim literature.

In one example, inflammatory comments were made towards a Muslim on a bus in east London, and another included reports that the word “Hamas” had been daubed on a Muslim family’s front door.

In over 65% of these cases, women were the target, the organisation said.

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Read more:
Massive increase in antisemitism in London, say police
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Of the 901 off-line cases, 576 were reported in London, followed by 71 in the northwest and 41 in the West Midlands.

The areas with the lowest number of off-line cases included Wales with nine and Scotland with 21.

Undated file photo of graffiti on a wall in Bristol. The number of antisemitic hate crimes recorded by many of the UK's largest police forces jumped sharply in the weeks following the outbreak of the Hamas-Israel conflict, new figures reveal. Islamophobic offences also rose for some forces, although the picture was more mixed across the country. Issue date: Friday December 29, 2023.
Image: Tell MAMA have called for political leaders to encourage cultural tolerance. Pic: PA

“We are deeply concerned about the impacts that the Israel and Gaza war are having on hate crimes and on social cohesion in the UK,” Iman Atta, director of Tell MAMA said.

“This rise in anti-Muslim hate is unacceptable and we hope that political leaders speak out to send a clear message that anti-Muslim hate, like antisemitism, is unacceptable in our country.

“There really is no space for hate and more than ever, it is essential that we sustain, nurture and protect the bonds that we have between communities, so that we all feel valued and safe in our communities and in our country”.

Sky News Source