Lessons from Woolwich: a written submission to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Islamophobia


APPGLater today I will be attending 2013’s first meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Islamophobia.

Having been titled, “Lessons from Woolwich: a tribute to Drummer Lee Rigby” I have a few concerns about the connotations some might draw from doing so. To be honest, I think that others are better placed to give Lee Rigby a more appropriate and rightful tribute.

Because of this, I have sought to maintain a sole focus on Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hate and what I believe are the ‘lessons from Woolwich’. Accordingly, I have submitted a short written document to the APPG for consideration at the meeting today. It is unclear at present whether I will be given the chance to speak at the meeting to support this orally.

Nonetheless, it is a useful exercise to draw attention to what I think we can learn from the aftermath of Woolwich. For me, these lessons include:

  • recognising the impact of ‘trigger’ events
  • the relationship between ‘Islamist’ extremists and those from the far-right
  • the prevalence of attacks on mosques (including the bombs at Walsall and Tipton)
  • the need for clarity when communicating evidence of anti-Muslim incidents
  • and the nature of the highly personal attacks on individuals working to combat Islamophobia

Given that I try and make as much of my research and policy work freely available to as wide an audience as possible, I have made this written submission available to read. To do so, please click here.

I am hoping to blog further about the APPG later this week.

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