A new study has reported the dramatic decrease by analysing thousands of police reports and millions of Tweets.
Hot off the heels of becoming the first ever Egyptian to win European club football’s most coveted competition, the Champions League, it seems that the exploits of Liverpool’s Egyptian star, Mohamed Salah, are having as much effect of the pitch as they are on it.
A study by the Immigration Policy Lab at Stanford University has revealed that there has been an 18.9 per cent drop in hate crimes in Merseyside, the county that the city of Liverpool is in, since he signed for the Premiership team in the summer of 2017.
“Taken together, the evidence point’s to Salah’s rise in prominence causing a decrease in hate crimes,” the report reads. “The survey experiment suggests that these results may be driven by increased familiarity with Islam.”
In layman’s terms, researchers believe that Salah’s display of his Islamic faith has come to expose the British public to the parts of the religion in a very different context to the usual, with his activity on social media and his reputation as being a family man also contributing factors.
The study sifted through 25 police departments’ data between 2015 and 2018, in addition to searching through some 15 million Tweets for rates of Islamophobia and analysing the views of over 8,000 Liverpool fans.
"Few Muslims in British public life have been as open about their Muslim identity, and are as well-liked, as Salah,” the report added. “The public image of Salah as a hero of sorts, and the resulting normalisation of some Muslim identities practices, may have dampened the appetite for harassment and violence toward the city’s Muslims,"