By Minerva Walsh
THE child in the playground did not understand why she was being blamed for ISIS – she didn’t even know who they were.
In the few short days since the horrific terror attacks in Paris, it seems racial tensions are on the increase in the UK.
Ireland Today has been informed of an increasing number of hate crimes being reported to police across the UK, while Muslim children have been targeted and blamed for the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris.
A source told Ireland Today that there are increasing concerns that racial and anti-Muslim tensions are on the increase.
“There have been incidents played out in school playgrounds with children being blamed for the ISIS attack, just because they are Muslim,” the informed source said.
“One child was told all Muslims must die.
“The child was only very young and she didn’t even know who ISIS was but she was being blamed by other children for this horror carried out not in her name.”
Since the Paris attack, an increasing amount of anti-Muslim commentary has been running across social media.
And as the first Syrian refugees, fleeing an increasingly war-torn homeland, were flown to Glasgow Airport earlier this week, is is understood there was official concern that too much details on there whereabouts should not be released publicly due to a feared backlash from some members of the public.
Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, urged the public to welcome the 100 refugees – mostly families.
“We need to show that we are a country of compassion and acceptance,” she said. “These people are fleeing their homes in search of protection and security and we are their refuge.
“We cannot let the actions of the few destroy the safety of the many.”
The majority of the public in the communities where the refugees are to be houses are said to be welcoming and have offered charitable assistance.
But there is an increasing tension between established local Muslims across the UK with a white minority and it is feared this could affect the refugee population.
A Times poll found 49 per cent of the public did not support refugees being offered homes, while 79 per cent were concerned ISIS would attempt an attack on UK soil.
The figures make for stark reading when compared to recent statistics which showed 27 per cent of Brits felt Britain should not be accepting refugees.
This more pro-refugee stance by the British public sample, was taken in September after the UK media covered the death of three-year-old Syrian boy, Aylan Kurdi, who was found and photographed lying face down on a Turkish beach after his family had, like thousands, fled Syria.
One of the newspaper’s that had showed Aylan’s corpse photo, along with the rest of the UK print press, at the time, was the Daily Mail.
However the same newspaper has just printed a cartoon showing rats scuttling over the EU border, at the feet of people.
Comparisons have been drawn between this cartoon and an anti-Semitic one published before the Second World War.
The cartoon, published by Das Kleine Blatt, in 1939, showing rats being swept from Germany but being refused entry to “democratic” countries.
Social media users criticised the cartoon and compared it to the 1939 image used to stoke up anti-semitism.
The newspaper has also reported that almost 70 have been arrested for ISIS plots in the U.S in the last 18 months – including refugees given “a safe haven.”
In reality, many linked to having carried out attacks in the name of Islamic extremism are in fact from Europe, including the UK. And the Parisian terrorists are mainly from France or Belgium.
The Irish Independent quoted a man who claimed to have been forced to fight for ISIS in Syria, earlier this year, that up to 70 per cent of fighters, are foreign, including around 40 Irish.
One of the most notorious ISIS figures reported in the press, ‘Jihadi John,’ was British.
The killer, who was shown on ISIS videos, beheading countless Western hostages, was reportedly killed last week by a U.S drone strike in Syria.
Still, as the media plays rolling footage of negative images of so-called Muslim-extremism, it seems that a heightened tension will build between British communities.
A source said: “A child is an innocent, just as most Muslim people are. A little girl in a playground is not to blame for any evil she has not carried out.
“Muslim people do not support these murderous actions. It is ignorant and harmful to assume they do.”
Muslims have taken to Twitter to say they do not support ISIS’ murderous actions.
One Muslim woman @marisalameda wrote: “I am a Muslim but I am so sorry,” referring to the Paris attack.
“ISIS are terrorists. They are not Muslim. Pray for France.”
It seems of course, humanity is humanity. Religion and colour ought not separate.