A report has found that anti-Muslim racism is an “established reality” in Ireland, including on-street physical violence.
According to the report, drawn from focus groups of 66 Muslim men, women and children living in Dublin, some participants were verbally abused or assaulted in public by assailants shouting “Allahu akbar”, making references to Islamic State, or, in one case, asking the question: “Are you Bin Laden’s wife?”
Public spaces including public transport, shops, and restaurants are also referenced in claims of discrimination. According to the report: “There is a distinct security theme emerging in this study in the manner in which Muslim women, predominantly, are pursued in shops and shopping malls, mainly by security guards but also by shop staff.”
There is also criticism of the gardaí, including “a specific experience of being singled out for attention by a member of An Garda Síochána while others were ignored” and “a perception among Muslim communities that gardaí will treat ‘their own’ (read as white, Irish, and Catholic) better than those perceived as ‘other’ ”.
The report also reflects the view of participants that Muslims are “homogenised” and that younger Muslims born and bred here can feel excluded even when they strongly identify as being Irish.
The report, entitled ‘Islamophobia in Dublin — Experiences and How to Respond’, was written by James Carr of the Department of Sociology in the University of Limerick.
The report, which is to be published today, contains a raft of recommendations, including a call for the swift implementation of hate crime legislation.