Adoption of the All-Party Parliamentary Group Definition of Islamophobia
It was moved by Councillor Hardy, seconded by Councillor Brennan that:
The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on British Muslims was established on 18 July 2017 to build on the work of the APPG on Islamophobia, but with a wider remit to examine a broad range of issues that British Muslims care about, and are affected by.
APPGs are composed of Members of both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. They are informal, cross-party groups that have no official status within Parliament, are not accorded any powers by Parliament or any of its Committees, and are independent of Government.
Following two years of consultation, on 27th November 2018, the APPG on British Muslims published a report titled “Islamophobia Defined: the inquiry into a working definition of Islamophobia.”
This report contained the following definition:
“Islamophobia 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, dehumanizing, demonizing, 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 characterize 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.
We all have a responsibility to demonstrate our commitment to supporting the Muslim community and working with them to root out Islamophobia wherever it rears its head.
This Council Resolves to:
Adopt the APPG definition of Islamophobia - “Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.” With a commitment to engage with key leaders within the Muslim community to provide appropriate levels of support, sharing appropriate literature and resources that will enable us to work with them to identify Islamophobia behaviours and take the appropriate action.
Following a debate, the Mayor declared the Motion to be carried unanimously.