Comment: Five Considerations When Refuting The Critics Of Islamophobia – Huffington Post

huffington-post-logoBeen a bit slow at uploading articles of late but here’s the first of a few that I’ve authored over the past few weeks. Published in the Huffington Post, the piece is a follow-on from the oral evidence I gave to the Home Affairs Committee at a session on the impacts of Islamophobic hate crime. The original article can be accessed by clicking here.

Five Considerations When Refuting The Critics Of Islamophobia

Following on from the oral evidence I gave to the Home Affairs Committee at a session on the impacts of hate crime, I was asked to pull together a short briefing paper on how we might move towards establishing a working definition of Islamophobia.

As with any discriminatory phenomenon, the process of definition can be complex and contentious and Islamophobia is no different in this respect. However unlike other discriminatory phenomena such as racism, Islamophobia has a far shorter history. It should be remembered that in its current manifestation, the term Islamophobia only entered the public and political lexicon two decades ago. Consequently, thinking and understanding about the phenomenon remains less developed than it does for other similar phenomena.

Nonetheless, numerous definitions of Islamophobia currently exist ranging from the academic and scholarly, through the community and advocacy sectors, to the policy and political. Few have acquired widespread acceptance however and so the search for ‘the one’ has become something of a search for El Dorado. But as with El Dorado, so too is it a myth to believe that conceiving and establishing a working definition of Islamophobia will simplify the phenomenon’s complexity or overcome its contestation…

To continue reading, click here.


Evidence: Towards a Working Definition of Islamophobia – Briefing Paper

briefing-paperFollowing the presentation of oral evidence to the Home Affairs Committee in December 2016, I have drawn together a short briefing paper on the need to establish a widely accepted working definition on Islamophobia that I have duly submitted. The briefing paper can be downloaded in full by clicking here.

This is not the first time that I have recommended that a working definition be established: among others, I did the same to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Islamophobia in 2011 (here) and the Cross-Government Working Group on Islamophobia in 2012 (here).

Let’s hope this attempt will be more warmly received.

EVIDENCE: Home Affairs Select Committee on Hate Crime & its Violent Consequences

me-select-cmttee-dec-2016Yesterday I was invited to give evidence at a hearing of the Home Affairs Select Committee as part of its ongoing inquiry into hate crime and its violent consequences. The hearing took place at Portcullis House, Westminster, was chaired by the Rt Hon Yvette Cooper and included among its panel the Labour MP Naz Shah. As well as being broadcast live, the hearing is also available on the Parliament website, available by clicking here (my session starts at around 15:50 in the slide bar under the images).

You can also download an audio file of the hearing directly from the same webpage, the link is available from the bottom right of the screen.