General Article The Dover bombings were a hate attack – why did it take so long to call them terrorism?

Topic Selected: Terrorism Book Volume: 425

Imagine a Muslim had committed a terrible act of violence – how long do you think it would be before they were labelled a terrorist?

By Nadeine Asbali, teacher and columnist

On October 30, Andrew Leak threw a number of incendiary devices at an immigration centre in Dover. The attack, which we can assume was against vulnerable and displaced people due to Leak’s social media posts, was not initially treated as terrorism by police.

And yet, it took four days before the police publicly recognised that Leak’s actions were acts of terrorism. It’s taken even longer for many commenters on social media to see him as one.

When innocent Muslims are called ‘terrorists’ for doing nothing more than walking down the street due to the state of Islamophobia in this country, it’s maddening that a genuine terrorist isn’t given this label even when it’s a fact.

November marks Islamophobia Awareness Month. A whole four weeks dedicated to the eradication of anti-Muslim prejudice and the awareness of how ...

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