Environment of Hate: The New Normal for Muslims in the UK provides shocking insight into the UK as an ever developing ‘Stasi state’ rife with hatred for the ‘suspect’ Muslim community. With analysis at every level – from grassroots to institutions – the authors examine the construction of an environment where Muslims are feared and loathed.
The authors have implemented the Domination Hate Model of Intercultural Relations – a critical methodology that argues that hate crimes do not occur in a vacuum. Perpetrators are themselves victim citizens who have been mobilised by structural forces; namely the government and the media. Both perpetrator and victim alike are at the mercy of a broader context of hate policy, hate representation and hate environment.
Taking us back to pre-9/11, the report acknowledges that even then Muslims were seen as exotic, different and a threat to national security. The state is seen as neutral and embodying Britishness and citizens of the state are only defined by their adherence to this specific national identity. Through devoted analysis to the PREVENT strategy and the Channel programme, the authors detail the way surveillance focused specifically on Muslims means they are assumed guilty of terrorism by association. With an overview of headlines in popular media, the report showcases embedded stereotypes and coded discriminatory language. The Muslim minority becomes victim to the social attitudes of the majority – learned through government policy and the media they consume – and this is then expressed in acts of hatred, hostility and violence.
'This indispensible report offers a mix of valuable empirical data and analytical arguments to both map and understand the increase of Anti-Muslim hate crime and Islamophobia in the UK. It critically documents the rising levels of hostility, hatred and discrimination, and provides a series of important recommendations for practitioners and policy makers in combatting Anti-Muslim hate crime. This is a much-needed report which uncovers the silent domestic casualties of the war on terror; it carefully combines conceptual rigor and brute facts to lift the lid on the rise of Islamophobia in contemporary British society. This is an important and timely intervention and a must read for those committed to racial justice.'
- Dr Katy P. Sian; Department of Sociology, University of York