United Kingdom United Kingdom


Tell MAMA, Awan, I. and Zempi, I., We Fear For Our Lives: Offline and Online Experiences of Anti-Muslim Hostility, October 2015

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Type of publication

Study - qualitative research

Geographical coverage


Area/location of interest

Not applicable - national level

Type of Institution

Civil society organisation



Main Thematic Focus

Hate speech

Target Population


Key findings

This research looks into links between online and offline anti-Muslim hate crime and its effect on victims. Findings show a continuity between on and offline incidents and concludes that they should not be examined in isolation. Participants described fear of online incidents materialising in the 'real world'. Victims suffer from depression, emotional stress, anxiety and fear. The report identifies a link between the prevalence and severity of incidents and significant "trigger" event. Equally the visibility of people's Muslim identity is a key trigger. Muslim women are more likely to be targeted than men but men are unlikely to report an incident owing to fear of appearing 'weak'. Finally, victims of online anti-Muslim hate crime are less visible in the criminal justice system than victims of offline incidents.

Methodology (Qualitative/Quantitative and exact type used, questionnaires etc)

Qualitative face-to-face interviews were conducted with twenty persons of Muslim identity.

Sample details and representativeness

The research comprised of interviews with 20 participants, 11 female and nine male. All participants were ‘visibly identifiable’ as Muslim. The majority of interviewees were aged between 20 - 30 years, seven participants aged 20 and over and eight participants aged 30 and over; four participants aged 40 and over and one participant aged 50. The youngest participant was aged 20 and the oldest was 50. The sample included a broad and diverse range of ethnicities, which comprised of eight different backgrounds and ethnicity, including interviewees from Asian
heritage (eleven) participants, White British convert (five), Somalian (three) and Libyan (one).

DISCLAIMERThe information presented here is collected under contract by the FRA's research network FRANET. The information and views contained do not necessarily reflect the views or the official position of the FRA.