Afzal Khan MP petitions parliament to formally adopt definition of Islamophobia
Afzal Khan MP for Manchester Gorton presented a petition to Parliament yesterday calling on the Conservative Government to formally adopt the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on British Muslims definition of Islamophobia.
The definition states that Islamophobia is “rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness”. The APPG definition of Islamophobia was published in 2019 and has since been adopted by community groups, political parties, academics, trade unions and hundreds of local authorities across Britain. The Conservative Party remains the only major political party to have not adopted the definition. The same year, the Government stated it would commit to developing its own definition of Islamophobia. After it was revealed that no progress had been made on establishing a working definition of Islamophobia, the commitment was quietly dropped by Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Secretary, Michael Gove at an event hosted by the Counter Extremism Group last September.
British Muslims across the UK are struggling amidst rising sentiments of Islamophobia during Islamophobia Awareness Month, with Tell MAMA reporting a 600% increase in Islamophobic incidents since the start of October. Savanta ComRes revealed in a poll last year that discrimination against Muslims has become common in the workplace. To address rising Islamophobia in Britain, Afzal Khan MP's petition urges the Government to formally adopt the APPG on British Muslims definition of Islamophobia and to take steps to tackle Islamophobia in the UK.
Commenting after presenting the petition, Afzal Khan MP said: “The Government refuses to engage on formally adopting a definition of Islamophobia, let alone laying out a plan to tackle it. “At a time where Islamophobic sentiments are at an all-time high, my constituents are demanding that the Government takes decisive action to address Islamophobia now, beginning with defining the issue. "Yesterday in Parliament, I urged the Government and Parliament to heed my constituents calls and formally adopt the APPG definition of Islamophobia and I will continue to do so until progress has been made.“
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