Following on from the news last week that I was invited to present evidence to the AGM of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Islamophobia, I thought that I would share the nine initial recommendations I made.
These are very basic but I think that the enquiry into Islamophobia is still at a very basic stage: there is still no real consensus about what it is, where it is, what it does or looks like, and how much of it exists out there in today’s society. These nine recommendations – I hope – would begin to address some of these issues and provide some information that we could then build upon.
Nine recommendations to the APP on Islamophobia
1. Explore the need for establishing a working definition of Islamophobia. In line with official definitions of such concepts as ‘disability’ or ‘religion or belief’ to better communicate the role of the APPG and to support government, institutions and policymakers to engage with the phenomenon.
2. Make a categorical commitment to the term and concept of Islamophobia, communicating a clear refutation of the smokescreen and distracting discourses about its perceived inappropriateness.
3. Significant further information/ investigation is necessary in relation to Islamophobia. Set out below are what might be the first steps in this process:
– Establish a comprehensive existing knowledge-base of Islamophobia. From this basis a gap analysis exercise can be undertaken to identify critical areas where additional research/ investigation is required.