Anti-Muslim hate crimes spike in UK after Christchurch terror attack

Anti-Muslim hate crimes have spiked across the UK in the aftermath of the Christchurch terror attack, according to a prominent monitoring group.

In the week following the shootings, which killed 50 people, hate crimes targeting Muslims in the UK increased by 593 percent, according to the charity Tell Mama.

Out of the 95 incidents reported to it, 85 referred to the Christchurch attack and featured threatening abuse.

Some Muslims say they were threatened by people making gun gestures, and many received verbal abuse and threats.

In some cases this abuse became violent. In Scotland a mosque was attacked, in Surrey a teen was stabbed in what police call a suspected far-right terror attack, and, in Birmingham, five mosques were attacked with sledgehammers.

Tell Mama director Iman Atta told The Guardian it's a worrying trend.

"This shows that some people see Muslims as fair game for hate and it is now clear that we have an ongoing and persistent ideology of hate that is generating a focus on Muslims," she said.

"Muslims in New Zealand were killed and British Muslims feel the anger of bigots. It is perverse."

UK police say staff are making extra patrols, especially around the main Muslim weekly prayer times.

"Experience tells us... that we should sadly expect that a horrific attack such as the one in Christchurch will have an impact on levels of hostility in the UK but it will also increase the fear of crime in affected communities. Both of these factors are likely to increase reporting levels," assistant chief constable Mark Hamilton, the national hate crime lead for the National Police Chiefs Council, told The Guardian.

"No one should ever have to suffer hate crime and I would encourage all victims to report to the police."