In September a gang in Manchester attacked four young Jewish men, beating one until he was unconscious. He remained in a coma for several days. Police arrested two teens in connection with the attack.
In November two men attacked Nissar Hussein, a Pakistani immigrant who converted to Christianity. Hussein reported others in the community assaulted and harassed his family and attacked their house since his conversion. He reported police had failed to respond. The attack left him with a fractured forearm, a broken kneecap, and a concussion. Police investigated the crime as a hate crime.
In March a mob broke into the Ahavas Torah synagogue in London, at the end of a Shabbat service, shouting “Kill the Jews,” assaulting at least one man, smashing windows, and vandalizing the building. Scotland Yard arrested six individuals in connection with the attack.
Governmental organizations reported an increase in religious hate crimes and incidents in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, and a decrease in Scotland. According to Home Office figures published in October, from March 2014 to March 2015 there were 3,254 religious hate crimes, a 43 percent rise compared to the previous year.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland stated in its annual report, published on November 26, that the number of crimes motivated by faith or religion decreased from 23 between October 2013 and September 2014, to 21 between October 2014 and September 2015. Between April 2014 and March 2015, there were 13 offenses classified as “violence against the person” and 12 criminal damage offenses motivated by faith or religion. From October 2014 to September 2015, the number of incidents – less severe offenses where the public asked for police assistance, but which were not reported to the government as notifiable crimes – based on faith or religion decreased from 46 to 40 compared to the previous year.
During 2014–2015, there were 569 charges reported in Scotland with “religious aggravation,” a 3 percent reduction compared to 2013–2014. This was the lowest level reported since 2007–2008. The number of sectarian incidents at Scottish soccer matches in 2014–2015, recorded under legislation that criminalized religious hatred connected to soccer, was 48, the same number as during 2013–2014. In total, 193 charges were reported under this legislation in 2014–2015 compared to 203 in 2013–2014.
According to Crown Office figures, in 2013–2014 the proportion of charges in Scotland related to anti Catholic sentiment increased from 57 percent in 2012–2013 to 63 percent, although the number of actual offenses fell from 388 charges in 2012–2013 to 367 charges in 2013–2014. Offenses relating to anti Protestant sentiment remained unchanged at 29 percent although the number of actual offences also fell from 199 charges in 2012–2013 to 169 charges in 2013–2014.
In its annual report, the Community Security Trust (CST), a UK organization that monitors anti Semitism, recorded 924 anti Semitic incidents, a 22 percent decrease compared to the same period in the previous year. The incidents included 86 violent anti Semitic assaults, an increase of 6 percent from 2014 and the highest number of violent incidents since 2011. There were 65 incidents of damage and desecration of Jewish property; 685 incidents of abusive behavior, including verbal abuse, anti Semitic graffiti, anti Semitic abuse via social media, and single incidents of hate mail; 76 direct anti Semitic threats; and 12 cases of mass mailed anti Semitic leaflets or e mails. All of these were decreases from the previous year. Three quarters of the 924 anti Semitic incidents were recorded in greater London and greater Manchester, the two largest Jewish communities in the UK.
The Scottish Council of Jewish Communities commissioned a report in March, with funding from the Scottish government, on increasing levels of anti Semitic incidents in Scotland. The report revealed a large proportion of respondents agreed their experiences of living in Scotland became more uncomfortable as a direct result of attitudes to the changing situation in the Middle East.
According to a February survey by ScotCen Social Research, almost nine in 10 Scots believed sectarianism was a problem for Scotland. The figures also showed 69 percent of respondents thought sectarianism was only a problem for specific areas of Scotland, with Glasgow and the West of Scotland most commonly mentioned.
The NGO Tell MAMA (Measuring Anti Muslim Attacks) reported 1,632 cases of anti Muslim hate incidents and crimes during the nine month period from January 1 to August 31. Of these, 608 involved individuals who reported directly to the organization; 1,024 were cases shared by the police. Police also reported a 70 percent increase in attacks on Muslims in London from July 2014 to July 2015 compared to the previous period. A report indicated that in the ten days after the November Paris terrorist attacks, 115 Muslims reported religiously motivated hate crimes.
In October research by the University of Strathclyde showed 42 percent of black and minority respondents felt they had been discriminated against because of their religion. This was the first survey conducted that focused exclusively on black and minority ethnic experiences in Scotland.
In October an independent prison monitoring group published a report on Whitemoor prison in Cambridgeshire, where approximately half the prisoners were Muslim. The report stated other inmates were pressured to convert to Islam and reported abuse if they cooked pork in a communal kitchen. The report warned the prison could be a recruiting ground for extremists.
In December government inspectors discovered 15 unregistered schools and reported squalid conditions and apparent segregation of genders on religious grounds. The majority of the schools were either Islamic or Jewish. In some schools with a “narrow Islamic focused curriculum,” government officials reported evidence of misogynistic, homophobic, and anti Semitic teaching material. The staff were not properly cleared to work with children. The discovery was a result of the Office for Standards on Education’s investigation of unregistered schools due to what the head of the office called a “serious and growing threat” to the welfare of hundreds of children. The schools were reportedly set up to avoid regulation by using loopholes for home schooling. In November a Muslim school in London failed an inspection due to books in the library promoting inequality of women and illegal punishments, including stoning.
In January the chief rabbi recommended teaching Islam in schools so students could better understand it and build interfaith relationships.
In October research by the University of St. Andrews and the University of Edinburgh showed a majority of Muslim students from schools in Scotland experienced discrimination on the basis of their religion. The survey also found similar discrimination was directed at other groups, including refugees from Somalia and Sikhs. Jewish students at Scottish universities reported they felt they needed to hide their faith to avoid discrimination. The Scottish Council of Jewish Communities said university officials criticized students’ work on Israel if they did not agree with the students’ point of view, forced students to attend lectures and take exams on the Sabbath, and did not take allegations of abuse seriously.
Two separate incidents, filmed and made public in October, showed aggressive anti Muslim sentiment on London buses. In the first video a woman verbally abused a pregnant Muslim woman. In the second video a man harassed and threatened an elderly Turkish male and threw his walker off the bus. Both offenders were later arrested and charged by the police.
In July a neo Nazi group planned a protest against “Jewish privilege” in central London. Police moved the protest from the neighborhood of Golders Green, home to a large Jewish community, so that residents could peacefully observe the Sabbath. Approximately two dozen individuals participated and an anti Nazi counter protest attracted approximately 200. One man was charged with inciting racial hatred in connection with the rally. Later that month the media reported Nazi sympathizers held a secret meeting in London at which several prominent Holocaust deniers spoke.
In August an unnamed individual filed a complaint against a performer at the Edinburgh Festival after she posted a photo of herself making an anti Semitic gesture. She had previously written blog posts and made statements on social media questioning the Holocaust.
In September a Scottish man sent a photo of himself holding a Nazi flag to a Jewish woman. He was sentenced to six months in prison.
In March St. John’s Church in London held a full Muslim prayer service. Evangelical clerics protested, saying the service violated Church of England doctrine and was offensive to Christians.
In November a Muslim scholar who posted a video condemning extremism and the November Paris terrorist attacks reported he received death threats from British children who supported Da’esh (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant).
In October vandals left two pigs’ heads with anti Islamic slogans on the doorstep of a former church in Belfast. The church was for sale and empty since 2006. At the time of the incident it was being used by a community group.
Several days before the July neo Nazi protest in London vandals wrote an anti Semitic statement on the entrance to a Jewish elementary school, and a man attacked a car with an axe outside a synagogue. Police stated they did not believe the incidents and protest were connected. There were reports of additional anti Semitic graffiti in Orthodox neighborhoods and on Jewish schools in July and August.
In June vandals desecrated Muslim graves in Nottingham. Police investigated the attack as a hate crime.
On November 17, vandals firebombed a Muslim cultural center in Bishopbriggs. No one was injured. Some sources believed it was a reaction to the November Paris terrorist attacks. On the same day, vandals firebombed a Muslim couple’s home in Northern Ireland.
In December the BBC radio service allowed a caller to speak for 13 minutes on air about conspiracies of Jewish “rule” and Jewish attempts to “control” society.