COMMENT: Birleşik Krallık’ta İslamofobinin 20 Yıllık Bilançosu – Perspektif

perspektif_logoAs with previous months, I have today had a new comment piece published in the German-based Turkish language periodical, Perspektif. This month’s piece reflects on the 20th anniversary of the Runnymede Trust’s report, Islamophobia: A Challenge For Us All. To view the piece, click here.

For those who can read Turkish, I have reproduced the opening paragraph below.

Birleşik Krallık’ta İslamofobinin 20 Yıllık Bilançosu

Birleşik Krallık’ta 1997 yılının kasım ayında ilk İslamofobi raporu yayınlandı. 20 yılın ardından ülkede İslamofobi hâlâ herkes için önemini koruyan bir sorun.

Birleşik Krallık’ta bu kasım ayı, Runnymede Vakfı’nın “İslamofobi: Hepimiz İçin Bir Meydan Okuma” isimli raporunun yayımlanmasının 20. yıldönümü olacak. Bundan 20 yıl önce Britanya Müslümanları ve İslamofobi Komisyonu’ndan çıkan bulguları ortaya koyan Runnymede raporuyla birlikte, kamuoyu ve siyasilerin dikkati ilk kez Britanya’daki Müslüman karşıtlığı ve ayrımcılığı üzerine çekilmişti. İslamofobi’yi “İslam’a duyulan korku ya da nefretin – ve dolayısıyla Müslümanlardan korkmanın ya da nefret etmenin en kestirme yolu” olarak nitelendiren raporda, “İslamofobik söylemin, bazen apaçık ama sıklıkla da üstü örtük şekilde kendini gösterdiği ve bu söylemlerin modern Britanya’da günlük yaşamın bir parçası olduğu” ifadesi yer alıyordu.

To continue reading, click here.

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Towards an All Party Parliamentary Group on Islamophobia: expert witness transcript

On Wednesday 3rd March 2010, I was invited to give an ‘expert witness’ statement at a Parliamentary meeting to discuss the creation of an All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Islamophobia . APPGs include members of the House of Commons and the House of Lords from across all of the political parties who meet together to discuss a particular issue of concern. They tend to focus most on the governing party’s priorities, discussing new developments and inviting Government Ministers to speak at their meetings. APPGs have no formal place in the legislature but are an effective way of bringing together parliamentarians and other interested parties including academics, NGOs and campaign groups amongst others.

Below is a transcript of the statement I made at the meeting held in the Grand Committee Room, the House of Commons:

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Islamophobia & Religious Discrimination: contextualising the need

My opening speech from the “Islamophobia & Religious Discrimination: new perspectives, policies and practices” event yesterday (9th December 2009):

Why do we need an event that focuses on Islamophobia and religious discrimination when, as Alistair Campbell once famously remarked to Tony Blair, as a nation “We don’t do God”.

For a nation that doesn’t ‘do God’, reading or watching the news may suggest otherwise. A glance back at 2009 might remind you of a number of different stories that had a relevance to religion or belief:

The British National Party (BNP) run a European election campaign under the slogan “What would Jesus do?” culminating in them winning two seats in the European parliament after almost a decade of running openly anti-Islamic and anti-Muslim campaigns

Anjem Choudhury and his Islam4UK group campaigning against British troops returning from Afghanistan

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Islamophobia and Religious Discrimination: new perspectives, policies and practices

UoB thinkAll readers of this blog are invited to the event, “Islamophobia & Religious Discrimination: new perspectives, policies and practices”. Details as follows. If you are intending coming along to the event, please ensure that you register beforehand – scroll down for details:

Wednesday, 09 December 2009
14:00 – 17:00

Location:
G15 (Main Lecture Theatre), Muirhead Tower, Main Campus, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT

More than a decade ago, the Runnymede Trust report Islamophobia: a challenge for us all noted that Islamophobia had reached previously unprecedented levels. Shortly after, a Home Office report suggested that other forms of religiously-based discrimination was also on the increase. Since then, a whole raft of legislation has been introduced in an attempt to address this issue. Most recently, the Equality Act 2006 introduced a ‘religion or belief’ strand of equalities protection that has regularly made the headlines through a number of high profile cases, for example where a Christian registrar asked to be excluded from performing same-sex civil registrations.

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Islamophobia Redux: the ‘first’ decade

islamophobeFollowing on from my announcement that I’m currently putting together a historiography of contemporary Islamophobia, I’m re-posting a think-piece that I wrote in October 2007 to mark the tenth anniversary of the publication of the Runnymede Trust/ Commission on British Muslims & Islamophobia report, “Islamophobia: a challenge for us all”.

“The ‘first’ decade of Islamophobia”

October 2007 marks the tenth anniversary of the publication of the groundbreaking and possibly the most influential document of its kind, the highly influential Runnymede Trust report, Islamophobia: a challenge for us all.

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