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Parliamentary Group in UK Defines Islamophobia

LONDON – The All Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims has published a report outlining the definition of Islamophobia which has been endorsed by MPs, community activists, and inter-faith organizations, Anadolu Agency reported on November 29.

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

The group launched a project in April to define Islamophobia in a way acceptable to all British Muslim communities and one that could “operate across governmental, public, community and private sector organizations.”

The group members collected accounts of many Islamophobic experiences faced by Muslims.

The report highlights that there has been no attempt made by the British government to adopt a definition of Islamophobia despite its recognition of the negative impact on British Muslim communities.

“The detectable shift from overt to subtler or respectable, manifestations of Islamophobia — the normalization of the prejudice to the extent it is rendered almost invisible to many — warrants a definition that can arrest and reverse its present trajectory,” the report added.

How to Fight Hate Crimes? British Muslim Answers

The report also gives in-depth analysis on how Muslims living in Britain strongly identify themselves as being British, show loyalty to the UK, and believe that Islam and its way of life are compatible to British values and way of life.

In recent years there has been a significant increase in anti-Muslim hate crime in the UK with 2017 having a record number of Islamophobic attacks.

Tell Mama, a multi-faith monitoring group, recorded over 1,200 reports of Islamophobic incidents, a 26-percent surge from the previous year.

The UK last month reported a 17% increase in hate crimes over the past year, with 94,098 incidents recorded by police, up from about 40,000 reported in 2012.

On the same track, a conference organized by Stand Against Racism & Inequality (SARI), Council of Bristol Mosques, and Somali Forum to tackle Islamophobia in the media and “promote positive reporting with Muslim communities” is being held in Bristol.

Organizers have invited journalists from local TV, radio, newspapers, press offices and websites to Greenbank Mosque to meet representatives from the city’s mosques and Muslim communities.

Alex Raikes MBE, from SARI, said: “We had set up The Tackling Islamophobia Working Group (TIWG) to bring Muslim community representatives, police and other agencies together across the Avon and Somerset area.”

“We want the media to recognize the power they have to influence by ensuring positive messages and respect for Muslim communities in our city in what they broadcast or print,” Raikes demanded.