New official definition of "Islamophobia". Watch

QE2
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A cross-party, parliamentary group has accepted a new definition for "Islamophobia".

“Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.”

I think this defines the concept that most people object to quite effectively - "anti-Muslim bigotry".

It also means that people will have to stop calling critics of Islamic ideology "Islamophobes" now.
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Good bloke
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This is pointless and foolish. There is no law, as far as I am aware, that uses the word in any special way and prescribes sanctions for being an Islamophobe. It therefore, like all English words, takes on its normal everyday meaning and has several of them. MPs cannot somehow usurp the OED.

In any event, this vague definition merely says what this group thinks Islamophobia involves; it does not define it and does not except criticism of Islam. It is so vague that it may be seeking to say that all criticism of Islam is racist.
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QE2
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(Original post by Good bloke)
This is pointless and foolish. There is no law, as far as I am aware, that uses the word in any special way and prescribes sanctions for being an Islamophobe. It therefore, like all English words, takes on its normal everyday meaning and has several of them. MPs cannot somehow usurp the OED.

In any event, this vague definition merely says what this group thinks Islamophobia involves; it does not define it and does not except criticism of Islam. It is so vague that it may be seeking to say that all criticism of Islam is racist.
I think it is a move forward. Rather than the old definition which included both dislike of Islamic ideology and anti-Muslim bigotry, thus leading to the use of it to shut down criticism by implying bigotry - this new definition narrows it down specifically to anti-Muslim bigotry based on racism, ie, the bigotry is really because they are Brown Foreigners, rather than because they are Muslims.
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Ascend
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Interesting, thanks for sharing.

Anti-Muslim bigotry is more accurate and would include converts too, some of whom are white and wouldn't quite fall into the racism aspect of this definition. White converts to Islam can also experience prejudice/discrimination based on their religion.
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Notoriety
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Isn't Islam an expression of Muslimness?
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J Papi
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(Original post by QE2)
A cross-party, parliamentary group has accepted a new definition for "Islamophobia".

“Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.”

I think this defines the concept that most people object to quite effectively - "anti-Muslim bigotry".

It also means that people will have to stop calling critics of Islamic ideology "Islamophobes" now.
Not a bad definition, but I frankly don't care much for the views of some unelected parliamentarians. The fact that they got the definition right this time doesn't mean that they should be able to go round redefining stuff at whim.

I guess that it still doesn't clarify the 'grey area' of someone who dislikes all Muslims, not because of skin colour or language, but because they choose to be religious worshippers at all (or indeed because they choose to be religious worshippers of that particular religion and therefore are near-guaranteed to share certain substantive beliefs).
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username521617
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Yeah I'm not so sure about the race part. If it was truly rooted in racism we would see Hindus getting the same level of hate. Nobody has felt the need to coin Hinduphobia yet, however.

Islam is a religion, and more-or-less a culture.

People don't like the burkas, the Mosques everywhere, the Halal, the big scary beards... All that stuff. Couple it with Islam's terrorism problems and you've get a recipe for hating on Muhammad who just moved in next door. I don't think colour is exactly the main source of the controversy.
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Qup
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Racism? Lol. What?

Islam is a religion, and muslims are those who follow that religion. Criticising Islam or Muslims is not a form of racism, because muslim people are not at all a race of people, or even an ethnicity. There are Arab muslims, Ghanaian muslims, etc. and they are not members of the same ethnic group.

A better definition of Islamophobia, given the fact that it includes Islam (religion) and Phobia (irrational or unjustified fear of something) would be "the irrational or unjustified fear of the Islamic religious system, Sharia Law or those who identify as subscribers or supporters of either (muslims)".
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Obolinda
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It's a good enough definition but I don't see it making much difference.
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QE2
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(Original post by JohanGRK)
I frankly don't care much for the views of some unelected parliamentarians.
Erm, parliamentarians are by definition, elected.

The fact that they got the definition right this time doesn't mean that they should be able to go round redefining stuff at whim.
"Islamophobia" is a relatively new word that has become common usage, so it needs a definition.

I guess that it still doesn't clarify the 'grey area' of someone who dislikes all Muslims, not because of skin colour or language, but because they choose to be religious worshippers at all (or indeed because they choose to be religious worshippers of that particular religion and therefore are near-guaranteed to share certain substantive beliefs).
Disliking unknown individuals because of generalising from a group label is essentially included in the new definition. It is not a "grey area", it is bigotry, to all intents and purposes. There are many Muslims who are unaware of large parts of the ideology due to being taught a cherry-picked, sanitised version, and millions who have not even read the Quran.
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QE2
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(Original post by Dandaman1)
Yeah I'm not so sure about the race part. If it was truly rooted in racism we would see Hindus getting the same level of hate. Nobody has felt the need to coin Hinduphobia yet, however.

Islam is a religion, and more-or-less a culture.
I think the point is that events over recent years mean that "Muslim" is a convenient hook for bigots to hang their prejudices on.

you've get a recipe for hating on Muhammad who just moved in next door. I don't think colour is exactly the main source of the controversy.
I would rather live next door to Maajid Nawaz than Tommy Robinson.
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username4454836
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So Muslim is a race?

I'm not sure they thought this one through.
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Mo.Hamid
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I personally think the definition should be literal: fear of Islam. It’s hardly a insult if someone is criticizing islam. This doesn’t mix in race and “anti-Muslim bigotry”. This new definition brings in race which is something else entirely
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(Original post by Mohammed.Al-H)
I personally think the definition should be literal: fear of Islam. It’s hardly a insult if someone is criticizing islam. This doesn’t mix in race and “anti-Muslim bigotry”. This new definition brings in race which is something else entirely
Is it not safe to say that anti-muslim bigots are usually racist though? Me and you don’t look like Muslims to people that hate Muslims because we don’t look South-Asian. We are way less likely to be attacked for being muslim than say, someone who is visibly Arab. So to some extent, islamophobia is rooted in racism? Am I even making sense?
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QE2
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(Original post by Wooord)
Is it not safe to say that anti-muslim bigots are usually racist though? Me and you don’t look like Muslims to people that hate Muslims because we don’t look South-Asian. We are way less likely to be attacked for being muslim than say, someone who is visibly Arab. So to some extent, islamophobia is rooted in racism? Am I even making sense?
I would be prepared to wager a sum that the majority of "Islamophobes" who engage in attacks on Muslims or mosques have little to no knowledge of Islamic ideology.
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J Papi
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(Original post by QE2)
Erm, parliamentarians are by definition, elected.


"Islamophobia" is a relatively new word that has become common usage, so it needs a definition.


Disliking unknown individuals because of generalising from a group label is essentially included in the new definition. It is not a "grey area", it is bigotry, to all intents and purposes. There are many Muslims who are unaware of large parts of the ideology due to being taught a cherry-picked, sanitised version, and millions who have not even read the Quran.
Not by anyone I know. And because you say 'their constituents', constituents in the UK will vote for a donkey with a Labour or Conservative party hat if that is what has been assigned to that constituency by the party overlords. So they are, for all intents and purposes, unelected by the overwhelming majority of people who may come to need to use this word.

I'm not entirely sure as to why it needs a definition when it is such a contested term.

When I made that post, I was thinking of certain truths that are empirically true of all Muslims (and indeed all Christians, etc.), such as the choice to follow teachings from an ancient book, the choice to defer morality to an external source, the choice to engage in certain rituals, that sort of thing. These choices can clearly be critiqued on ideological grounds, but I wonder why we can never critique (because that's what this definition is precluding) those who choose to adopt them.
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QE2
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(Original post by JohanGRK)
Not by anyone I know. And because you say 'their constituents', constituents in the UK will vote for a donkey with a Labour or Conservative party hat if that is what has been assigned to that constituency by the party overlords. So they are, for all intents and purposes, unelected by the overwhelming majority of people who may come to need to use this word.
We had the chance of PR, and we rejected it. Regardless of whether you or I voted for an MP, they are still elected.

I'm not entirely sure as to why it needs a definition when it is such a contested term.
Erm, precisely because it is so contested. If there was consensus over its meaning, such a definition would not be necessary.

When I made that post, I was thinking of certain truths that are empirically true of all Muslims (and indeed all Christians, etc.), such as the choice to follow teachings from an ancient book, the choice to defer morality to an external source, the choice to engage in certain rituals, that sort of thing.
But they don't all do that. Even on here we see Muslims express a variety of levels of belief and acceptance of scripture. And for many it isn't really a "choice" as they have been indoctrinated from childhood.

These choices can clearly be critiqued on ideological grounds, but I wonder why we can never critique (because that's what this definition is precluding) those who choose to adopt them.
You can criticise individuals on the basis of their individual words or deeds - if an individual Muslim declares support for slavery, using captives for sex and execution by torture (for example), them we can call them out for their immoral barbarism, but we can't simply assume that all Muslims support these things because they clearly don't, despite the Quran and sunnah allowing them.
Muslims are not one homogeneous monolith that all believe the same things and hold the same values.
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PTMalewski
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(Original post by JohanGRK)
Not a bad definition, but I frankly don't care much for the views of some unelected parliamentarians. The fact that they got the definition right this time doesn't mean that they should be able to go round redefining stuff at whim.
A very bad definition that confuses race with religion.

Presume that there is a culture of cannibalism, and people of that culture are in UK, they hunt and eat people. If accidentally happens that most of them are green Marsians, and somebody says that being afraid of cannibalism is racism, this is like totally missing the point.

First of all, Islamophopbia is a phobia towards certain culture, not race. The second problem is that it is not entirely derived from reason.
From what can be seen, there is no issue of people being afraid of Chinese or Vietnamese. Now, let's wonder why.


(Original post by QE2)


You can criticise individuals on the basis of their individual words or deeds - if an individual Muslim declares support for slavery, using captives for sex and execution by torture (for example), them we can call them out for their immoral barbarism, but we can't simply assume that all Muslims support these things because they clearly don't, despite the Quran and sunnah allowing them.
Muslims are not one homogeneous monolith that all believe the same things and hold the same values.
Which doesn't mean that such backward, illogical and cruel ideologies should have their place in our world.
The ultimate target of every rational society should be to get rid of these nonsenses, that clearly do a lot of damage to thinking of some people.
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Peter Tatchell lambasts this in a Times leader today:

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/c...obia-85r6h8czr

He commences thus:

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on British Muslims has produced a well-intentioned but worrisome definition of Islamophobia. It states: “Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness”.

There are two big problems with this definition. First, while Islamophobia can be an expression of racism, it is not in itself racist because neither Islam nor Muslims are a race. Islam is an idea and Muslims include people from many races. Second, this definition has implications for free speech. Like all ideas Islam should be open to scrutiny and criticism. Yet very often all critiques of Islam are denounced as an attack on Muslim people.

This is unfair. In a free society, it is perfectly valid to criticise the idea of Islam. What is not acceptable is to be prejudiced against Muslim people and consequently to victimise them.


and later says:

From personal experience, I know how the smear of Islamophobia is used to silence debate and critics. In 1994, I protested against the Islamist extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir. It had endorsed the killing of LGBT people, women who have sex outside of marriage and Muslims who turn away from their faith. I was denounced as Islamophobic. But I was merely confronting the hateful ideology of theocratic Islamism, not Muslim people, the vast majority of whom do not subscribe to such murderous injunctions.

He is right.
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This morning's Times carries a letter to the editor from Trevor Philips, ex-chairman of the EHRC:

Sir, As the then chairman of the Runnymede Trust think tank, I was one of the authors of the 1997 report that launched the term Islamophobia to describe genuine discrimination that we had found against Muslim individuals. I agree with Peter Tatchell (“Free speech is under threat over Islamophobia”, Thunderer, Mar 26) that the MPs and activists trying to redefine it as “anti-Muslim racism” understand neither anti-Muslim sentiment nor racism.

In our report we pointed out that Muslims constitute a global multi-ethnic faith community, not a “race”. A “race” of Muslims would require strict equality of treatment with non-Muslims — thus removing any incentive to provide, for example, prayer rooms at work, or halal food at school. That is why the specific protection of “religion and belief” was written into the 2010 Equality Act.

I wonder what those trying to weaponise Islamophobia think of the Muslim parents who stridently object to reference to the rights of same-sex parents in sex education classes; should we criminalise teachers who criticise these parents for this particular “expression of Muslimness” as in some way Islamophobic? And will they now demonise Mr Tatchell as an “anti-Muslim racist” for his defence of free speech?
Trevor Phillips
Chairman, Equality and Human Rights Commission 2006-12; Senior fellow, Policy Exchange

He is right too.
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