‘You all look the same’: Non-Muslim men who suffer Islamophobic hate crime in the post-Brexit era

Existing research on Islamophobic hate crime has examined in detail the verbal, physical and emotional attacks against Muslims. However, the experiences of non-Muslim men who suffer Islamophobic hate crime because they look Muslim remain ‘invisible’ in both official statistics and empirical research...

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Published in:European journal of criminology
Main Author: Awan, Imran (Author)
Contributors: Zempi, Irene (Author)
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
Published: 2020
In:European journal of criminology
Year: 2020, Volume: 17, Issue: 5, Pages: 585-602
Online Access: Volltext (Resolving-System)
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Summary:Existing research on Islamophobic hate crime has examined in detail the verbal, physical and emotional attacks against Muslims. However, the experiences of non-Muslim men who suffer Islamophobic hate crime because they look Muslim remain ‘invisible’ in both official statistics and empirical research. Drawing on data from qualitative interviews with 20 non-Muslim men based in the United Kingdom, we examined their lived experiences of Islamophobic hate crime. Interviews were transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis. A deductive approach to thematic analysis was adopted to analyse participants’ narratives, and six overarching themes were developed: (1) nature of Islamophobic hate crime; (2) triggers of Islamophobic hate crime; (3) impact of Islamophobic hate crime; (4) reporting incidents, responses and barriers to Islamophobic hate; (5) victims’ coping strategies; and (6) recommendations on tackling the problem. Our findings show that participants experienced Islamophobic hate crime because of ‘trigger’ events, namely the Brexit vote, Donald Trump’s presidency and ISIS-inspired terrorist attacks in European countries such as France, Germany, Sweden and the UK. Participants described being verbally and physically attacked, threatened and harassed as well as their property being damaged. The impacts upon victims included physical, emotional, psychological and economic damage. These experiences were also damaging to community cohesion and led to polarization between different communities in the UK.
ISSN:1741-2609
DOI:10.1177/1477370818812735