Researchers highlight urgent need to counteract Islamophobia

Posted by ap507 at Jun 29, 2018 03:35 PM |
The Centre for Hate Studies presents evidence to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims

Issued by University of Leicester on 29 June 2018

This week, the Centre for Hate Studies at the University of Leicester was invited to speak to members of parliament about how its research expertise can help to define Islamophobia.

This week, Neil Chakraborti, Professor of Criminology and Director of the Leicester Centre for Hate Studies, presented oral and written evidence to the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) to help them devise a pragmatic, straightforward definition of Islamophobia that has meaning to those directly affected.

Drawing upon research undertaken by the Centre, politicians were informed about the multiple ways that Islamophobia can be expressed and experienced. These included direct forms that include physical violence, criminal damage, harassment, verbal abuse and de-veiling as also indirect forms, such as stereotyping, scapegoating and discriminatory practices.

A key message the Centre wishes to communicate is that there is no such thing as a singular ‘Muslim community’ nor a typical ‘Muslim victim’.

Professor Chakraborti said: “Within our studies, we have uncovered shocking levels of Islamophobic hostility. The work of the APPG is the necessary start point to constructing effective tools to counteract the damaging impact of Islamophobia.”

Key points raised to parliament included:

  • Any working definition of Islamophobia should be pragmatic, straightforward and have meaning to those directly affected
  • There is also scope to develop a broader definition of Islamophobia that is underpinned by a specific set of examples including, anti-Muslim discrimination, anti-Muslim hate crime, anti-Muslim hate speech and so on
  • Islamophobia can be experienced both directly and indirectly, offline and – increasingly - online
  • There is no such thing as a singular ‘Muslim community’ nor a typical ‘Muslim victim’
  • The Centre’s research shows that Islamophobia targets children, elders, women and converts to Islam, from different nationalities and ethnicities as also socio-economic backgrounds across a range of different environments including public and private spaces

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on British Muslims was established in July 2017 to examine a broad range of issues that British Muslims care about, and are affected by. Its main aims are to inform Parliamentarians, policy makers and wider society by highlighting the aspirations and challenges of British Muslims; celebrating the contributions of Muslim communities to Britain; and investigating prejudice, discrimination and hatred against Muslims in the UK.

APPGs are composed of Members of both the House of Commons and the House of Lords.


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