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Monday, April 22, 2024

MP calls for definition of Islamophobia to help stop anti -Muslim hate crime

In the wake of the government’s new strategy of redefining extremism to help tackle the issue, an MP has publicly called in the House of Commons for a similar move to fight Islamophobia.

Speaking in the Commons, Anneliese Dodds, Chair of the Labour Party, Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities, and MP (Co-op) for Oxford East said:

“A definition was promised, and an advisor appointed to develop one five years ago but today there’s still no definition, no advisor, no active anti – Muslim hatred working group, no hate crime strategy and minimal action on online hate. When is the government going to wake up to this problem?”

Ms Dodds refers to the announcement in 2019 of a new process set out to establish a working definition of Islamophobia, by the then Communities Secretary, James Brokenshire, and the promise that the government would consider recommendations from appointed advisors on an effective definition.

With the current crises in the Middle East creating tensions amongst different faith groups, there has recently been a worrying rise in anti – Islamic hate crime. Tell MAMA, which monitors anti Muslim hate crime, has recorded that it has more than tripled in the period since the crises in Gaza began.

The government has taken some action, with Home Secretary James Cleverly announcing that £117 million will go to protecting UK Muslims from hate attacks, aimed at helping towards the security of key Islamic community sites across the nation.

However, Ms Dodds has made it clear that she believes more needs to be done. Writing on X (formally Twitter) she re-affirms her statement in the Commons:

“Five years after the government promised to define Islamophobia, there is no definition.”

In her Tweet, she ends with an urgent call to action: “When will the government act to tackle Islamophobic hate?”

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