All of Scotland's political parties adopt formal definition of Islamophobia

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 26 April 2019 in News

The definition classifies discrimination against Muslims as a form of racism

Image credit: David Anderson

All of Scotland’s political parties have agreed to adopt a formal definition of Islamophobia in an effort to combat hate crime.

Scottish Labour MSP Anas Sarwar said the decision to support the definition, created by Westminster’s All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims after consultation with Holyrood’s Cross-Party Group on Tackling Islamophobia, was “a landmark moment that will help tackle prejudice in Scotland”.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon yesterday outlined her willingness for the Scottish Government to adopt the definition, while the SNP, Scottish Conservatives, Scottish Labour, Scottish Liberal Democrats and Scottish Greens have all agreed to support use of the definition.

The definition classifies discrimination against Muslims as a form of racism.

It states: “Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.”

Sarwar, who is chair of the Cross-Party Group on Tackling Islamophobia, said: “This is a landmark moment that will help tackle prejudice in Scotland.

“I’m delighted that every single political party represented in Holyrood has agreed to adopt the definition and put Scotland at the forefront of the fight against hatred.

“This is about more than just a form of words – this sends a powerful signal to those who peddle racism that Scotland will not stand for Islamophobia.

“I now urge the UK Government to adopt the definition so that we can challenge hatred and prejudice wherever it exists across the country.”

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