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Ethics – Hate attacks

January 2016

Muslims targeted by hate attacks are reluctant to report incidents of abuse and often receive little support from onlookers.

This was the finding of a study commissioned by Tell MAMA (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks). Researchers from Birmingham City University and Nottingham Trent University found an example of a woman having alcohol poured over her receiving no support from other passengers on a train. 

According to a participant in the study, ‘People were watching but they ignored it. No one wanted to help’. Another case study described the lack of assistance when travelling on a bus.

He said, ‘A man shouted to me and my Muslim friends, “You are terrorists. I’m gonna come to the back of the bus and stab you.” I told the bus driver and asked him to stop and call the police, but he refused’.

The study also uncovered evidence that men are especially unwilling to report attacks for fear of being seen as weak.

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