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Sadiq Khan speaks out about Islamophobic tweets

Sadiq Khan speaks out about Islamophobic tweets

Categories: Latest News

Friday March 16 2018

Mr Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, spoke out about the Islamophobic abuse he has received in an effort to raise awareness of the problem urging social media firms to do more to tackle it.

The revelations were part of his keynote speech at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas.

One tweet by @MemAuSe read: “Deport all muslims and make london white again, all problems will be gone”.

Another tweet by @billwall69 read: “I say KILL the Mayor of London and you will be rid of ONE Muslim Terrorist?”

Another tweet by @warprivia read: “@sadiqkhan is just a gay muzzie terrorist”.

In 2016, a tweet by @Emmanuel_Maris read: “Muslims have no dignity. I wish Sadiq Khan would blow himself up like they all do. He might get his 12 virgins”.

Mr Khan stated that he read the tweets not for sympathy or to be seen as a victim but to remember that the problem is significantly prevalent.

The Mayor of London said: “I don’t read these out to be portrayed as a victim, or to ask for sympathy…but ask yourself this – what happens when young boys and girls from minority backgrounds see this kind of thing on their timelines – or experience it themselves? Or someone thinking about becoming a politician? And what about young girls and women who are being driven from these platforms – reversing our long fight for gender equality?”

Mr Khan added that social media companies and politicians must do more to tackle the problem of Islamophobia on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Mr Khan said: “…with the skills and resources these companies [social media companies] have at their disposal, I believe it’s possible to go further and faster”.

He added: “There’s been a dereliction of duty on the part of politicians and policymakers to ensure that the rapid growth in technology is utilised and steered in a direction that benefits us all”.

The Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at Demos – a think tank specialising in social policy – detected 143,920 Tweets, from March 2016 to March 2017, that were Islamophobic.

It is important that anyone who believes they are in immediate danger from a prejudice-based hate crime should contact the police as soon as possible on 999. If not in immediate danger, or if you have suffered a prejudice-based hate crime in the past, then you can report it using the non-emergency number 101 or by using this online form.

You can also – in addition to the police – report any Islamophobic hate crime to MEND’s Islamophobia Response Unit (IRU) here. This allows us to monitor levels of abuse and compile accurate data on the levels of Islamophobia.

The IRU can also help you contact and deal with the police (if you choose to do so), and signpost you towards free legal advice and emotional support that may be available.

MEND looks forward to working with the Mayor in tackling Islamophobia in all of its forms.




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