Following news of the Government’s intention to reject the definition of Islamophobia proposed by the APPG on British Muslims last year, the Muslim Council of Britain issued the following statement.
“It is truly extraordinary that the government believes it is better placed to determine the harm that Muslim communities face than Muslim communities themselves, who – alongside dozens of leading academics in the field – have overwhelmingly endorsed the APPG definition of Islamophobia.
“To claim that merely defining this racism is somehow an impediment to free speech, is deeply disingenuous and appears to be a wilful misreading of the definition, and aligned to a number of bad faith actors whose views – rather than those of Muslim communities – appear to be influencing this decision.
“As is clear from the APPG report and from the Islamophobia definition website, being critical of Islam or any religion does not make you an Islamophobe. You are only an Islamophobe if you use the language of racism targeting expressions of Muslimness.”
“As all the main national political parties have demonstrated support or endorsed the definition having engaged with Muslim communities, we are left to wonder why the Conservative Party – whilst being mired in accusations of institutional Islamophobia – are choosing to exceptionalise Muslims in this way.”
“We can only hope that this decision will be revisited.”