Muslim women are most likely to be victims of hate crimes in South Yorkshire, says charity

As Anti-Islamophobia Month draws to its close today, the Tell MAMA organisation in Sheffield has claimed that hate crimes against Muslim women has spiked in South Yorkshire.

The trend, measured by the organisation, has been particularly noticeable following high-profile terror attacks committed in London and Manchester this year.

Tell MAMA is a service that encourages victims of religious and racial hate crime to report it, with it then acting as a link between victims and local police.

Senior Outreach Officer, Mahroof Hussain, says women were often easy targets for perpetrators due to wearing their Hijabs in public, and can feel very isolated.

“There’s clearly a gender issue going on, where it’s predominantly the male attacking the female,” he said.

“They’re visibly Muslim, taking their kids to school in the morning, out shopping or on public transport.

“We don’t want them to isolate themselves, or be afraid to go out, because in a free democratic society, everybody should be able to enjoy their life free from fear.”

The Anti-Islamophobia campaign has focused on bringing different religious and ethnic groups together to define and raise awareness of what a hate crime is.

The organisation has also been educating local Muslim groups on where they can seek help, with many previously not knowing where to turn.

Despite Mr Hussain saying the month had been a big success, he said he was still concerned about the issue of ‘underreporting’, with many crimes seemingly going unpunished.

He said that even if there was little or no evidence after a crime, Tell MAMA worked with police to establish hate crime hotspots, which can then determine police numbers in those areas.

“If it’s happening a lot in an area, we can at least log it, map it and monitor it before working with the police to resolve these issues,” he said.

London, Greater Manchester, West and South Yorkshire along with the West Midlands are the present hotspots for hate crime in the UK, according to Mr Hussain.

“Crime is going up in those areas, but we’re doing a lot of extensive work to combat the narrative being put out there by the far right. It’s something we need to counter, which isn’t helped when you have the President of the United States retweeting far right leaders,” he added.