The growing threat of Islamophobia in mainstream politics has caused significant concern in across Muslim communities in Britain. Since the 2016 EU referendum, we have seen a sharp rise in hate crime and – in particular – a rise in violent and non-violent Islamophobic attacks. Home Office figures released in October 2020 showed that the highest number of recorded hate crime offences committed in the UK were against Muslims. Of the 6,822 religious hate crimes recorded by the police in 2019/20, over 50% were targeted towards Muslims.
With this and the increasing normalisation of Islamophobia in the Conservative party, and a growing concern over its perceived penetration into the Labour Party, Muslims across the country find themselves in a precarious position.
The research commissioned and conducted by the Labour Muslim Network aimed to take an honest look at the prevalence and nature of Islamophobia in one of Britain’s largest political parties. Our goal has been to capture the experiences of Muslim members and supporters of the Labour Party, explore institutional barriers and begin to develop solutions where the party falls short in tackling this racism. The research was conducted in the spirit that we make the Labour Party a safe and open space for Muslims and all peoples who wish to fight for a fairer, more just society.