After a two-year report headed by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Britsh Muslims, which worked with members of the UK Muslim community and included activists, academics and various Muslim groups, a working definition of Islamophobia has finally been produced.
The report, published on Tuesday, says that:
“Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness”.
The addition of ‘perceived Muslimness’ was for victims who may not be Muslim themselves but are perceived to be by attackers.
The APPG called on the UK government to adopt the new definition.
The authors of the report, Anne Soubry, and Wes Streeting, said that the effects of Islamophobia are “seen in individual behaviours and institution processes”, citing Muslim women being denied job opportunities and religious centers being defaced. Streeting said that to tackle it, Islamophobia “must be accurately and fully defined.”
The report noted that a lack of a commonly agreed definition of Islamophobia has allowed it to “increase in society to devastating effect”, driving division, hate crime and even terror attacks.
It added that:
“there has been no attempt to adopt a definition of Islamophobia by government despite recognising the significant impact the problem has on British Muslim communities”.
The report also found that prejudice against Muslims has been driving hate crimes and belief in myths about Muslims, with harmful lies about Muslims now believed by a large section of the UK’s population.
The report comes at a time where Islamophobia is rife in Britain’s climate, with recent Home Office stats showing that attacks on Muslims count for 52% of all hate crimes.
You can read the full report here.
Also published on Medium.