A working definition of Islamophobia has been proposed by APPG on British Muslims after consulting academics and communities across the UK.
The definition proposed is:
“Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness”
Chair of MINAB, Imam Qari Asim said:
“Defining Islamophobia is an important step in tackling hate-crime, because the absence of a clear understanding of Islamophobia has allowed hatred to become normalised and even socially acceptable. Islamophobia isn’t just anti-Muslim hatred it’s about everyday discrimination.
Islamophobia is not a myth but everyday reality for so many British Muslims. This is a phenomenon that has taken lives, women assaulted, people held back in work and children bullied in our schools.
Muslims cannot live either under fear or as victim.”
A definition of Islamophobia which is workable, accepted by Muslims, and adopted by the government will better empower authorities and communities to deal with incidents of hatred and protect British Muslims.
An educational campaign is required to see how best the proposed definition of Islamophobia can be understood and implemented.
Imam Qari Asim MBE continued:
“I am disgusted and saddened by the recent incident of bullying and physical abuse, which targeted a young Syrian refugee child at school in Huddersfield. This type of behaviour is unacceptable in our society and needs to be challenged; no one should be the victim of such abuse, let alone young people who have lived through the trauma of war and displacement.
It is worth remembering that incidences such as this are still few and far between, and it is heartening to see the outpouring of support from the wider public with £120k already raised through crowdfunding for the victim and his family.
However, it is also a stark reminder for the need for better safeguards to support our diverse communities.”