Islamophobic crime has risen 70% in the last year, according to figures from the Metropolitan police.
Incidents increased to 816 from 478 in the 12 months to July, with monitoring organisation Tell MAMA saying women are the main targets. What's happening in Merton is anyone's guess, with an increase from eight crimes to 29; Westminster recorded the most crimes with 54 in a year.
What's causing this increase? The rise of ISIS? Paedophile scandals in Rotherham? Or — more likely, in our eyes — the increase of anti-immigrant rhetoric from politicians and the media? Are Muslims simply more easily identifiable? When women wearing face veils are being targeted, that's simply cowardice. What the hell is the matter with people? What harm does a woman covering her face do to you as an individual? If you feel offended by it, here's a message from Londonist to you: grow up. Do you also feel offended by the sight of two men holding hands? Of a turban? A yarmulke? We bet you'd have been part of the mob lynching Catholics 400 years ago after the Gunpowder Plot — after all, if a few Catholics turn out to be terrorists, that means they must all harbour murderous thoughts, right? FFS.
As a city, we appear to be growing less tolerant generally. Met statistics also show an increase in homophobic and anti-Semitic crime. Offences against LGBT people increased 29% in the year to July, from 1,289 to 1,667, and against Jewish people by a staggering 93%, although from a lower base — 258 to 499. Again: what is wrong with people?