Neo-nazi and far-right groups are now instructing their followers to infect Muslims and Jews with the coronavirus. A UK government counterterrorism agency warned on July 9 that the said groups want to infect the minorities deliberately as they spread conspiracy theories around the coronavirus pandemic.

Conspiracy theories

The UK's Commission for Countering Extremism published an article stating that it has received reports of hate groups of all kinds, from Islamist extremist, far-right and far-left, using the pandemic to create division in communities, according to The New York Post.

The report warned that they have heard reports of British Neo-Nazi groups and British Far Right activists promoting narratives that attack minorities by encouraging their followers to infect the minorities deliberately, especially and the Muslims and Jews.

One conspiracy theory that is reported claims that the coronavirus is fake and it is just a part of a plot of the Jews to mislead the public. Another conspiracy theory claims that Muslims are responsible for the pandemic and it is spreading because the mosques are open even during the lockdown.

Meanwhile, another group stated that Islamists are spreading anti-Western and anti-democratic narratives. They also stated that the pandemic is punishment set by God on the West for degeneracy, or the pandemic is a punishment on China for its mistreatment of Uyghur Muslims.

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Sara Khan, the government agency's commissioner, wrote in a blog post that groups from the far right, far left and Islamist groups have created conspiracy theories about the coronavirus pandemic to promote hate and dangerous disinformation.

Extremists even went as far as using 5G as a conspiracy theory, which then led to the public burning down 5G towers in London. According to the report, the dangerous conspiracy led to 50 incidents back in April where 5G towers were vandalized and burned.

The report has also criticized social media platforms for not doing enough to stop the spread of false information and to debunk conspiracy theories that are spreading online. There were 649 posts that were flagged for misinformation on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The flagging happened between April 20 to May 26 during the height of the coronavirus lockdown. However, only 9.4% were acted upon and 6.3% were eventually removed, according to data from the London nonprofit Center for Countering Digital Hate.

The report said that far-right politicians and news outlets have played a role in normalizing hatred against ethnic groups and religious groups by pushing their anti-immigrant messages.

Creating division

According to a report, the State Department in the UK found last month that the threat of ethnically and racially motivated terrorism from neo-nazis and far-right groups is increasing and is spreading around the world.

In the United Kingdom, the commission is calling for the government to create an effective and concrete plan to discontinue any racist views and to counteract violence.

They are also calling for the existing laws to be strict on the hatred that is posted online. Khan stated that they need to be on the front line to counter the hateful activity of extremist groups who seek to create division in the community and to know everything that the country stands for.

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