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Newham Council becomes the first in the country to officially define Islamophobia

PUBLISHED: 12:00 13 December 2018

Cllr Zulfiqar Ali put forward the motion. Pic: Newham Council

Cllr Zulfiqar Ali put forward the motion. Pic: Newham Council

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Newham Council has become the first in the country to adopt an official definition of Islamophobia in a bid to stamp out racism.

Councillor have passed a motion that will see the local authority endorse the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on British Muslims definition of Islamophobia.

The meaning was finalised by the APPG at the end of November, following almost two years of consultation.

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

The nine point definition includes “calling for or justifying the killing or harming of Muslims in the name of a fascist ideology” and “applying double standards by requiring Muslims to behave in ways not expected or demanded of any other groups in society”.

Councillor Zulfiqar Ali, who put forward the motion, said: “Newham is proud of its diversity and recognises this as a huge asset and a source of great strength.

“A large proportion of its residents are Muslim, who are an integral part of its make-up, playing a huge role in all aspects of the borough’s life. Its residents have always united and supported each other in the fight against racism and discrimination in all its forms.”

Councillor unanimously decided to adopt the definition on at full council on Monday.

Councillor Joshua Garfield added: “Unfortunately in this country we have witnessed for some years a rise in hate. Islamophobia has been consistently on the rise. It is really important that as a council we don’t just oppose this hatred and fight it, but define it so that we can actually single out when something is absolutely unacceptable.”

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