I'm proud to be one of the founders of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for British Muslims

Today is the UN’s International Day to Combat Islamophobia.

I am very proud that, as one of the founders of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for British Muslims, I helped launch the first ever parliamentary definition of Islamophobia. This has been adopted by councils and other organsations across the country.

Our definition recognises that Islamophobia is a type of racism and it is rooted in racism. It seeks to protect Muslims from prejudice and to protect freedom of religious expression (and freedom to criticise religion – if you believe in God you’ll probably agree that God doesn’t need laws for protection!).

Unfortunately, we need to combat Islamophobia now more than ever as we face a rising tide of anti-Muslim hatred in our country and around the world. In this holy month of Ramadan, I want to reiterate that there can be no place for Islamophobia in Redbridge, or indeed anywhere around the world.

This week we held the fifth Big Iftar in Speaker’s House in Parliament. I was honoured to introduce the granddaughter of Nelson Mandela, who gave a powerful speech about the war in Gaza and the need for peace, drawing on her grandfather’s experience of making peace with those who inflicted grave crimes against Mandela.

I know this is a hard time for our Muslim community and it is therefore even more important that the whole community unites against prejudice, hatred and discrimination in all forms.

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