Labour formally adopts definition of Islamophobia

All-party parliamentary group definition says Islamophobia is ‘rooted in racism’

The Labour party has formally adopted a definition of Islamophobia, arguing that it is vital to tackling the rise of far-right racism.

A party spokesperson said its national executive committee had adopted the working definition produced by the all-party parliamentary group on British Muslims “to help tackle Islamophobia, build a common understanding of its causes and consequences, and express solidarity with Muslim communities”.

The definition reads: “Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.”

The definition was produced by the group to build a common understanding of the causes and consequences of Islamophobia. It was decided upon after a six-month consultation with academics, lawyers, elected officials, Muslim organisations, activists, campaigners, and communities.

More than 750 British Muslim organisations, 80 academics and 50 MPs have backed the definition. Naz Shah, the Labour MP for Bradford West and a shadow minister for women and equalities, said all political parties should adopt the definition.

“This could not be more urgent, while Islamophobia has been rising in our society and across the world, and support for the far right and their extremist white supremacist views is growing,” she said.

“Instead of challenging and campaigning against this hate-filled prejudice, many politicians have actively fuelled it, from the Conservatives’ overtly Islamophobic campaign against Sadiq Khan becoming mayor in 2016 to Boris Johnson’s vile comments about Muslim women.

“We must work together to rid our country of this evil, starting by urging widespread adoption of this definition so we can create deeper understanding and awareness at every level of our society.”

The Liberal Democrats have adopted the same definition.


Frances Perraudin

The GuardianTramp

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