Defining Islamophobia Is the First Step Toward Addressing It

Defining Islamophobia Is the First Step Toward Addressing It

In the United Kingdom, Islamophobia is on the rise, but existing anti-racist measures are not equipped to deal with it.

Over the last few years, the United Kingdom has seen Islamophobia rise at a disturbing rate. In 2011, Sayeeda Warsi, a former chairman of the Conservative Party and one of the country’s leading Muslim politicians, raised alarm bells when she claimed that anti-Muslim racism had become so normalized that it had “passed the dinner table test.” Unfortunately for her and the wider British Muslim community, things have gone from bad to worse. In 2020, the Muslim Council of Britain sent a dossier of 300 allegations of Islamophobia against Prime Minister Boris Johnson and members of the Conservative Party to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission. It was the second time, to no avail, that the Muslim Council of Britain had implored the equalities watchdog to launch a formal investigation into the ruling party.

This past December, it was reported that The Great British Bake Off’s Ali Imdad was subjected to Islamophobic abuse while taking the bus home. Not only did none of his fellow passengers come to his aid, according to Imdad, but when he tried to speak up to defend himself, the bus driver threatened to throw him off.