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Double standards on Islamophobia

16th Jul 2021

Last year, the former Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, was suspended from the party for apparently stating that the scale of anti-Semitism within Labour had been “dramatically overstated for political reasons” by opponents and the media.

He has yet to have the whip reinstated and sits as an independent MP.

In contrast, it was reported this month that the former Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Trevor Phillips, has been prematurely readmitted to the Labour Party following his suspension for Islamophobia, without the matter even going to a National Executive Committee disciplinary panel.

Labour’s double standard comes after the current leader, Sir Keir Starmer, wrote an open letter to Muslims seeking to retain their crucial support ahead of the by-election at Batley & Spen.

In it, he pledged to ‘do everything in my power to root out Islamophobia in our party.’ He also offered assurances that Labour’s position towards Palestine had not changed. Kim Leadbeater, the sister of murdered Labour MP Jo Cox, managed to just about hang onto the seat that has a sizeable Muslim electorate.

Ironically, in his letter, Starmer went out of his way to criticise the inquiry Boris Johnson ordered into Islamophobia, which no one has taken seriously. ‘This month, I wrote to the Prime Minister – as did my Shadow Women and Equalities Minister and Labour’s Party Chair – following the release of the Singh report, which highlighted the Prime Minister’s own offensive remarks especially towards Muslim women.

The Prime Minister’s non-apology is frankly offensive in itself; I will continue to call for an unequivocal apology and ask what steps he will take to tackle Islamophobia within his own ranks.’

Being a former Director of Public Prosecutions, the Labour leader prides himself as having “personally fought for strong legal action against hate crime and Islamophobia.”

Yet, has failed to act on a report by the Labour Muslim Network (LMN) last November that highlighted a range of concerns about Islamophobia, which Starmer said were stark and concerning. He said he remained “committed to ensuring we have a code of conduct and a comprehensive training programme on Islamophobia” after a LMN poll.

For the Tories, the Singh report documented the magnitude of Islamophobia within the ruling party showing 1,418 recorded complaints relating to 727 incidents of the alleged discrimination but which is seen as just the tip of an iceberg with no less than two-thirds relating to Islam.

But it is believed to be just another Tory ruse with Boris Johnson not bothering to respond other than making a mealy-mouthed apology for his indiscretions.

As we report this month, a report north of the English border found that Islamophobia was also an “everyday issue” in Scotland; with nearly four-fifths of those surveyed feeling that anti-Muslim bigotry in the country is getting worse.

The pages of The Muslim News are filled every month with instances across the UK, so there is no lack of evidence, only a distinct failure to prove the issue is being dealt with.

For Phillips, in no way should his Islamophobic views be buried and be allowed back in the Labour Party or be allowed to be on Sky television every week.

Among other things, he has accused Muslims of being a “nation within a nation” and seeing “the world differently from the rest of us” that need first to be purged. The example needs to be followed elsewhere to prove Muslims no longer are treated as third-class citizens and an easy target for bigots.

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Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence event is to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to society. Over 850 people from diverse background, Muslim and non-Muslim, attended the gala dinner.

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