Scotland’s political parties have all agreed to adopt a formal definition of Islamophobia in a ‘landmark’ bid to tackle prejudice.
The move follows meetings with members of Holyrood’s Cross-Party Group on Tackling Islamophobia and Westminster’s All Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims, and places Scotland at the forefront of the fight against hatred.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has signalled the Scottish Government is prepared to adopt the definition, while the SNP, Scottish Conservatives, Scottish Labour, Scottish Liberal Democrats and co-convener of the Scottish Greens Patrick Harvie have all agreed to adopt the definition.
The definition of Islamophobia was produced by the Westminster APPG after months of consultation.
It classifies discrimination against Muslims as a form of racism, and reads: “Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.”
Anas Sarwar MSP, 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.”
More information about the definition of Islamophobia can be read here: https://islamophobia-definition.com/
The definition has already been adopted by the UK Labour Party, the UK Liberal Democrats, the SNP Westminster Group, Plaid Cymru, and several English local authorities – as well as many organisations including the Muslim Council of Britain. Last month, it was adopted in London City Hall by Mayor Sadiq Khan.
The APPG delegation yesterday (Thu) meet with Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government Aileen Campbell, Scottish Conservatives interim leader Jackson Carlaw, Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie, Scottish Green co-convener Patrick Harvie and Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh.