Islamophobia definition called 'vague and dangerous'

Thu 22 Aug 2019
By Ruth Sax

The definition of Islamaphobia has been criticised by a Christian group, who say it could curtail free speech.

Cross-party think tank Civitas have today released 'Islamophobia: An Anthology of Concerns', a book containing essays from contributors from a variety of religious and philosophical persuasions.

Contributors include Richard Dawkins, Tim Dieppe from Christian Concern and Lord Singh of Wimbledon.

 

 

Attempts to define 'Islamophobia' risk curtailing freedom of speech and hindering work intended to expose extremist activities, a new collection of essays warns, according to Christian Concern.

The definition, which has been proposed by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on British Muslims is: "Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness."

Tim Dieppe, Head of Public Policy at Christian Concern said: "This anthology shows the widespread concern about formalising a definition of Islamophobia. People from many different faith persuasions or none can all agree that free speech is one of the fundamental requirements of a free society.

"The proposed definition by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims is vague and dangerous. Its adoption would clearly lead to restrictions on what can be said about Islamic beliefs and practices. It is shocking and disturbing that various political parties and local councils have rushed to adopt this definition without proper consideration of the consequences.
 
"Anyone concerned about free speech should read this collection of essays, and reflect on how close we are as a society to curtailing free speech and legitimate discussion when it comes to Islamic beliefs and practices.
 
"Society should not be encouraging a proliferation of phobias whereby groups compete for victim status. Terms such as anti-Muslim, anti-Sikh, anti-Hindu, or anti-Christian are already clear and sufficient."

 

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