Redbridge Council has made history, becoming the second council in the country to adopt the All Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims’ definition of Islamophobia.
A motion was proposed by the Leader of the Council, Cllr Jas Athwal during the full council meeting on Thursday 17th January and passed unanimously.
Cllr Jas Athwal, Leader of Redbridge Council commented, “I am so proud to have adopted this official definition of Islamophobia as part of a wider approach to tackling racism and hate crime in our borough.
Redbridge is one of the most diverse places in the UK and while we celebrate this diversity it comes with additional responsibilities to our residents. The APPG definition of Islamophobia seeks to remove any misunderstanding over what constitutes racism against Muslims and can only serve to better inform and protect all our residents.”
The definition was first published in the 2018 Report on the inquiry into a working definition of Islamophobia / anti-Muslim hatred and includes the following:
“Islamopobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of muslimness or perceived muslimness.”
Contemporary examples of Islamophobia in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in encounters between religions and non-religions in the public sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to:
- Calling for, aiding, instigating or justifying the killing or harming of Muslims in the name of a racist/fascist ideology, or an extremist view of religion.
- Making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Muslims as such, or of Muslims as a collective group, such as, especially but not exclusively, conspiracies about Muslim entryism in politics, government or other societal institutions; the myth of Muslim identity having a unique propensity for terrorism, and claims of a demographic ‘threat’ posed by Muslims or of a ‘Muslim takeover’.
- Accusing Muslims as a group of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Muslim person or group of Muslim individuals, or even for acts committed by non-Muslims.
- Accusing Muslims as a group, or Muslim majority states, of inventing or exaggerating Islamophobia, ethnic cleansing or genocide perpetrated against Muslims.
- Accusing Muslim citizens of being more loyal to the ‘Ummah’ (transnational Muslim community) or to their countries of origin, or to the alleged priorities of Muslims worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.
- Denying Muslim populations the right to self-determination e.g., by claiming that the existence of an independent Palestine or Kashmir is a terrorist endeavour.
- Applying double standards by requiring of Muslims behaviours that are not expected or demanded of any other groups in society, e.g. loyalty tests.
- Using the symbols and images associated with classic Islamophobia (e.g. Muhammed being a paedophile, claims of Muslims spreading Islam by the sword or subjugating minority groups under their rule) to characterise Muslims as being ‘sex groomers’, inherently violent or incapable of living harmoniously in plural societies.
- Holding Muslims collectively responsible for the actions of any Muslim majority state, whether secular or constitutionally Islamic.
Find out more about the APPG definition at: www.appgbritishmuslims.org