The Guardian reports that the Muslim Council of Britain and other Islamic groups in the UK are requesting the Conservatives and Labour parties to adopt a newly proposed working definition of Islamophobia following a week marked by public anger over the bullying of a 15-year-old Syrian refugee. The definition was established in a report which states: “Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.”
The inquiry by a parliamentary group on British Muslims held sessions throughout Britain. Members heard about a wide spectrum of Islamophobic experiences, including multiple incidents of physical and verbal abuse.
Those who worked on the definition of Islamophobia wanted it to capture the reality that, while Muslims are not a race, abuse against the faith amounts to a form of racism. “Islamophobia is racism; naming and combating Islamophobia is not about special pleading, it’s about civil rights,” states Professor Salman Sayyid of Leeds University and AbdoolKarim Vakil of King’s College London.