The Guardian (28 January 2010) carries a column written by Jonathan Githens-Mazer and Robert Lambert who have set up the European Muslim Research Centre (EMRC) at the University of Exeter:
Too much academic and "thinktank" research is based on poor methodological engagement, and repackaging hearsay and assumption in the guise of intellectual contribution. We hope that the EMRC, in partnership with communities and other academics will provide an alternative to this kind of work.
As part of this, our centre will engage not only with Muslim communities, but also policy-makers and organisations such as the police. As those police officers remind us in today's report, this kind of violence isn't happening in a vacuum – and is more than the actions of a few mindless thugs. Politicians, ranging from the fringes of UKIP and the BNP, to serious mainstream politicians in the Labour and Conservative parties, not only feel that there is no social or political penalty for attacking Islam, but that not attacking Muslims enough risks being politically outflanked.
You can read the full article here.
Their first report "Islamophobia and Anti-Muslim Hate Crime: a London Case Study" is available to read online here with related publications here.