On behalf of my constituents in Manchester, Gorton, I presented a public petition to Parliament calling on the Conservative Government to tackle Islamophobia by formally adopting the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on British Muslims’ definition of Islamophobia which defines it as being “rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness”.

It has been five years since the APPG on British Muslims published its definition of Islamophobia and it has since been backed by community groups, political parties, academics, trade unions and many local authorities across Britain. Out of all of the political parties to adopt the definition, the Conservatives remain the only major political party to not have adopted the definition. In 2019, the Government stated it would commit to developing its own definition of Islamophobia. After years of inaction and complacency, the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Secretary, Michael Gove, quietly confirmed that the commitment had quietly been dropped.

This is an insult to my constituents and British Muslims across the country who deserve to live, work and practice their faith freely safe in the knowledge that the Government is committed to tackling all forms of hatred and bigotry including Islamophobia but sadly, this has yet to be the case.

The Government refuses to engage on formally adopting a definition of Islamophobia, let alone laying out a plan to tackle it, despite Islamophobia being an endemic issue within the Conservative Party. Polling by HOPE not hate revealed that 47% of Conservative party members believe Islam is “generally a threat to the British way of life”.

At a time where Islamophobic sentiments are at an all time high and hate crimes against Muslims up by 600%, my constituents are demanding that the Government takes decisive action to address Islamophobia now, beginning with defining the issue.

My constituents are proud to live in one of Britain’s many diverse communities, with large and bustling Muslim communities that deserve better safeguarding measures against violence and discrimination, and that starts with those at the top acknowledging the problem.

In Parliament today, I urged the Government and Parliament to heed my constituents calls and formally adopt the APPG definition of Islamophobia and I will continue to do so until progress has been made. You can watch me present my petition here or read the transcript here.

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