The Islamic faith has been the target of numerous terrorist attacks over the years, with a spate of attacks in Europe and the US in recent years.
But one of the most notorious was in France in November 2014, when the radicalised terrorist Abdelhamid Abaaoud detonated his suicide vest outside the Stade de France, killing 129 people and injuring nearly 400 others.
In the days following, many in the media and government were quick to jump to the conclusion that Abaaouied was a Muslim and therefore, should be stopped from returning to the UK.
Yet that was not true, and a new research paper has uncovered that there is a long history of Islam being used by British authorities to restrict the religious freedoms of Muslims, even if the faith is not a faith of violence.
The paper, published in the journal Islamic Studies , claims to have identified and tracked over a hundred instances of Muslims being denied their religious freedoms in the UK and around the world.
The paper is the first to document such instances, and it paints a picture of the way the UK government treats Muslims living in the country.
It’s a stark contrast from other countries where Muslims are often able to worship freely and practise their faith freely, as long as they do not “harbour extremism”.
A separate report by the House of Commons’ Culture, Media and Sport Committee in December 2014, which criticised the way in which the Government had responded to the crisis in France, found that Muslims were often being targeted because of their faith.
One example the committee cited was the case of an American-born Muslim woman who was told that she was a terrorist by her husband, and her husband was charged with a terror offence in the US.
Another case involved a Muslim woman in the U.K. who was denied the right to work in her community because of her faith.
A third case involved the refusal of a Muslim man from Pakistan to take part in a debate on the Government’s Prevent strategy, in order to allow others to speak.
In many cases, it seems, these restrictions are not being applied to all Muslims, but to Muslims living overseas who are perceived to be “potential terrorists”.
According to the report, Muslim women are being singled out for “unjust and disproportionate” treatment because they are perceived as being more likely to commit domestic violence, and they are not afforded equal access to jobs, housing or healthcare.
It’s not the first time this has happened.
Last year, the British Council published an investigation into whether a Pakistani-born man from Birmingham, known as Abdul Qadeer Khan, had been banned from entering the UK for his religion.
A British government spokesman said the decision was based on a “diversity assessment” of Khan and his family.
However, Khan has since returned to the United Kingdom and is free to practice his faith.
It is also not the only instance of Islam in the way that it is being used in the United States.
According a 2015 study by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which analysed data from a series of reports on Muslim Americans released by the U,S.
Department of Homeland Security, Muslims were “disproportionately targeted” by law enforcement agencies and were also more likely than other Americans to be stopped by immigration officers for being suspected of being in the Muslim community.
As part of the report by CEIR, the group said that “Muslim Americans are the most targeted group of Americans who have been subjected to unlawful detentions, searches, arrests and deportation since 9/11, even as other groups are targeted less frequently”.
The report, titled ‘Infiltrating Islamophobia: The Use of Islamophobia to target Muslims in the USA’, said the number of Muslims detained in immigration custody in the year 2014 was around 8,000, including a large number of those who were suspected of ties to extremist groups.
While the figures of people being stopped and questioned may not be as high as those who have died in the line of duty, the numbers of Muslims arrested and detained for being inextricably linked to terrorism are far higher.