CAIRO - Seizing on a recent child scandal, far-right groups are toning up their hostile campaigns against Muslims to create a climate of hate against the sizable minority in the European country.
"We are already receiving hate mail and hate phone calls even though we issued a very strong statement condemning those involved," a spokesman for the umbrella Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) told The Guardian.
"If it can happen to MCB, you can just imagine what ordinary Muslims are facing as they go about their day-to-day business."Child Scandal Heightens UK Race TensionUK Study Warns of Violent Far-Right
British Muslims have been facing growing campaigns by far-right groups following a recent child scandal in Birmingham.
A Liverpool court last week convicted nine men of Pakistani and Afghan descent over abusing girls in sexual activities in return for drugs and alcohol.
The trial has given ammunition to far-right groups to tone up their rhetoric against the Muslim minority in Britain.
"This is dangerous for community relations," said Fiyaz Mughal, from Faith Matters, which has set up a helpline for victims of Islamophobia.
He said the trial has helped far-right groups to add to the poison against the Muslim minority.
"There's lots of discussion about 'Muslim paedos', like saying the prophet married a young girl. All of this disgusting talk is adding to the poison against Muslims."
Mughal said about 20% of calls for the helpline, Tell Mama, are linked to the far-right English Defence League (EDL).
"About half of those cases are online activity where there is invariably a mention of 'Muslim paedos'."
Muslim leaders are worried that the hate climate could worsen over the hostile campaigns by far-rightists.
"There's a climate of hate in relation to this, Suleman Nagdi, spokesman for the Leicestershire Federation of Muslim Organization, said.
We need to tackle the problem, but people within the BNP, the EDL are increasing the rhetoric, added Nagdi, who held talks with EDL representatives in the past.
It does have an adverse effect within the city â¦ I am sure it will build within the next few weeks."
Echoing similar fears, the MBC spokesman said Muslims were preparing for the worst following the trial.
"The graffiti on the door of a home, mosques and community centers attacked, a pig's head through the door â¦ it is bound to increase because the racist are waiting for opportunities like this."
Far-right groups like the EDL and the British National Party (BNP) are playing the card of immigration to stoke sentiment against Muslims and immigrants.
A study earlier this year warned about the potential threat posed by far-right extremists in Britain, revealing that a hardcore of far-right supporters in the country believes violent conflict between different ethnic, racial and religious groups is inevitable.
In November 2010, British police warned that the anti-Muslim demonstration by the EDL fuel extremism and harm social cohesion in Britain.
British Muslims, estimated at nearly 2.5 million, have been in the eye of storm since the 7/7 attacks.
A Financial Times opinion poll showed that Britain is the most suspicious nation about Muslims.A poll of the Evening Standard found that a sizable section of London residents harbor negative opinions about Muslims.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net