Labour Party formally adopts a definition of Islamophobia
In an unprecedented move, the Labour Party has formally adopted a working definition of Islamophobia in the aftermath of New Zealand’s terrorist attack by a white supremacist.
Crafted by the all-party parliamentary group, the national executive committee accepted the definition “to help tackle Islamophobia, build a common understanding of its causes and consequences, and express solidarity with Muslim communities”.
The formal adopted definition reads:
Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.
More than 750 British Muslim organizations, 50 MPs, and 80 academics from around the country have supported this working definition, with the Liberal Democrats formally adopting the definition as well.
This new definition comes after a six-month consultation project that involved numerous Muslim organizations and community leaders, academics, lawyers, and elected officials on how to exactly define a phobia that affects so many minority groups around the world.
Naz Shah, the Labour MP for Bradford West, stated:
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. Instead of challenging and campaigning against this hate-filled prejudice, many politicians have actively fueled it.
The rise in far-right and white supremacist ideologies have been largely ignored by governments across the Western world, with the results being both deadly and far-reaching.
The recent terrorist attacks in New Zealand only point towards the severity of ignoring far-right extremism, and the Labour Party’s move to define Islamophobia comes at a time when definitions may help better prosecute those who commit acts like the one seen in Christchurch.