In November 2018, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on British Muslims published a report titled Islamophobia Defined: the inquiry into a working definition of Islamophobia, which highlighted the prevalence of Islamophobic racism in Britain.
The group recommended the adoption of the following definition:
Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.
At London Met, we take a zero tolerance stance on all forms of harassment and hate crime. We challenge exclusionary and discriminatory practice, and, in November 2020, London Met became the first UK university to adopt the APPG working definition of Islamophobia.
Examples of Islamophobia
These include but are not limited to:
Inferred involvement in terrorism
- Expressing mendacious, dehumanising, demonising allegations about Muslims – such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about Islam as an anti-Western and oppressive faith rooted in extremism which supports terrorism and acts of violence against non-Muslims
- Inferring directly or indirectly the assumption or accusation that a Muslim would support an act of terrorism or extremism
- Holding the Islamic faith or Muslims collectively responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Muslim person or group
- Disproportionate or unequal institutional surveillance of areas congregated by Muslims due to the perceived threat of Muslims to security, for example, installing cameras in Muslim prayer facilities or requiring Islamic societies to supply membership informaton where the same is not requested of equivalent groups
Muslims as the Other
- Proporting the suggestion that Muslims are a monolithic group with static views, beliefs and practices
- Inferring directly or indirectly that Muslim citizens, by reason of their faith, are less loyal to Britain or that the Islamic faith is incompatible with British society and identity.
- Expressing the view that Muslims, collectively, or an individual by reason of their Islamic faith is assumed to be inferior, uncivilised, irrational, barbaric, sexist or racist
- Expressing a view that is based on the assumption that Muslims are oppressed and lack free will, for example in relation to religious garments or the observance of the month of Ramadan
Violence, threat of violence and bullying
- Unwanted remarks, bullying and microaggressions directed at individuals who pray at work or observe Islamic practices such as abstinence from alcohol or non-halal foods
- Unwanted remarks, verbal or physical abuse directed at individuals because they are Muslim and/or wearing distinctly Islamic garments, or garments which appear Islamic
- Having one’s hijab or headscarf forcibly pulled down or interfered with
Examples of inclusive action
- Provision of time for Muslim staff who wish to pray during the day
- Extending respect and sensitivity towards Muslims during the month of Ramadan – avoiding scheduling one-to-one meetings in the afternoon with staff who may be fasting and, if Ramadan falls during an assessment period, to attempt to schedule examinations in the morning where possible
- Ensuring that social spaces and occasions and Students' Union events do not centre on alcohol and that the balance of events are welcoming to all
- Creating safe spaces for Muslim staff and students to share their experiences without fear of reprisal, institutional surveillance or labelling as problem makers
- Conscious application of Prevent obligations that avoid disporportionate policing of Muslim members of our community by reason of their faith
- Understanding that depictions of the Prophet Muhammad cause deep offence to Muslims
Institutionalised: The Rise of Islamophobia in Higher Education – a comprehensive report by Sofia Akel published in 2020 that examines the complexities and manifestations of Islamophobia throughout the higher education sector.