The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced that City Hall has adopted the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims definition of Islamophobia and called on the government and other public bodies to do the same.
The mayor has urged ministers to show their commitment to tackling hate crime and the spread of far-right messaging by also signing up to the wording.
City Hall will become the largest public authority to adopt the APPG definition as part of Sadiq’s efforts to tackle Islamophobia. The APPG is investigating prejudice and discrimination against British muslims and the aim of their definition is to build a common understanding of the causes and consequences of islamophobia and show a united determination to end it.
The definition is, “Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of muslimness or perceived muslimness.” There are also a range of other illustrative examples.
The mayor’s announcement comes after he held a safety and security conference last night at City Hall for London mosque leaders in the light of last week’s terrorist attacks in New Zealand in which 50 people were killed.
In a powerful message of united determination to end Islamophobia and the spread of far-right rhetoric, Sadiq told mosque leaders that it is vital that the government follow his lead in adopting the definition as he reassured leaders that the Met has been doing everything possible to keep worshippers safe by providing reassurance through increased patrols, engagement and security advice. The police approach will continue for Friday prayers and over the week ahead in response to local community needs.
The Mayor also called on ministers to ensure security at all places of worship is properly funded. He has written to the Home Secretary to ask him to confirm that this will be provided immediately to enable mosques to prepare ahead of Ramadan in May. As well as the need to put greater security measures in place urgently, the mayor told mosque leaders that we must expose those in positions of power who continue to peddle messages of hate and division and put more pressure on governments, tech companies and other platforms to do more to stop violent extremism and hatred from being promoted.
Sadiq Khan said, “Islamophobia has no place in our society. It is a vile stain on our collective conscious and it is essential that we all do everything we can to stand together against those who seek to divide our communities.
“By signing up to the APPG definition of islamophobia we are sending a powerful message of our united determination to end islamophobia and the spread of far-right rhetoric. We are proud of the great diversity of our country and I urge the government and other public bodies to join us in making this clear commitment,” he continued.
The mayor concluded by saying, “The evil terror attacks in Christchurch last week were attacks on the values that unite us. They sadly showed us all that there is still so much to do to stamp out hatred. We must all stand together and show the world that we will not tolerate anyone seeking to divide our communities and bring us harm.”