Public Figures Urge Government Not to Adopt Sayeeda’s Definition of “Islamophobia”

MPs are debating Islamophobia today after Buzzfeed revealed that the Government intends to reject the definition proposed by the APPG on British Muslims on free speech grounds. Given the report repeatedly cites notorious Jewish-obsessed conspiracy theorist David Miller it’s no bad thing this is being opened to wider debate…

Now an open letter from numerous senior public figures has been sent to Home Secretary Sajid Javid, urging the Government against the “uncritical and hasty adoption” of the APPG’s definition and warning that the definition “will be used to shut down legitimate criticism and investigation”, effectively making it a “backdoor blasphemy law”.

The letter, organised by Emma Webb at Civitas, has been signed by over 40 public figures including Peter Tatchell, Richard Dawkins, Tom Holland, Julie Bindel and Maajid Nawaz, and numerous representatives of faith and non-faith organisations, including the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, Conservative Muslim Forum (in a personal capacity), Network of Sikh Organisations, Hindu Forum of Britain, British Pakistani Christian Association and National Secular Society. They stress that “no religion should be given special protection against criticism” and warn that “a proliferation of ‘phobias’ is not desirable, as already stated by Sikh and Christian organisations who recognise the importance of free discussion about their beliefs”…

They conclude that the APPG’s definition is “deeply problematic and unfit for purpose”, warning that “acceptance of this definition will only serve to aggravate community tensions and to inhibit free speech about matters of fundamental importance.” When this many senior figures and organisations are urging a rethink, MPs ought to take note…

Read the letter and list of signatories in full:

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Warsi Cites Conspiracy Theorist Suspended from Labour Party

Sayeeda Warsi is unhappy about The Times splash this morning, claiming “this article makes disturbing & disingenuous claims about British Muslims APPG report Islamophobia Defined. This is the latest in a line of attacks from the same sources which until now I have ignored as usual silly boy games but this is dangerous and needs challenging”.

She then goes on to have a go at the Policy Exchange think-tank:

The report Baroness Warsi cites here is The Cold War on British Muslims: An Examination of Policy Exchange and the Centre for Social Cohesion written by David Miller – then of Bath University (now Bristol). The report was written “with the aid of a grant of £5,000 from The Cordoba Foundation”. The Cordoba Foundation was identified by former PM David Cameron as a “front for the Muslim Brotherhood”. The Government’s 2014-5 Review of the Muslim Brotherhood similarly described the Cordoba Foundation as being “associated with the Brotherhood”. Miller’s report is quite simply not a credible academic source.

Miller is a conspiracy theorist who is on record as having promoted the idea that chemical attacks in Syria were a false flag – perhaps involving British intelligence in some capacity – designed to force Western intervention in the country’s civil war. Miller has also defended the comments which led to Ken Livingstone quitting the Labour Party (about Hitler supporting a Jewish homeland) – he was suspended from the Labour Party over these comments before being subsequently reinstated. He has called the concept of Israel a “racist endeavour”. He even accused the Government of “state propaganda” over its reaction to the Skripals’ poisoning in Salisbury.

Miller’s suspiciously worried about the influence of “ultra-zionists” and the Israeli government:This should come as no surprise. The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) report on Islamophobia, which produced the highly problematic definition that Baroness Warsi is so desperate to promote, itself took evidence from and cited the work of Professor David Miller. No wonder the government is looking to formulate a better working definition of ‘Islamophobia’…

More Brits See Labour as Racist than Tories

YouGov have found that more people see the Labour Party as racist than the Tories. Despite his repeated claims to be an “anti-racist campaigner”, twice as many Brits think Jeremy Corbyn is racist (20%) than think the same for Theresa May (11%).

The same poll found that 30% of Brits think Jeremy Corbyn is an anti-Semite, compared to just 5% who believe Theresa May to be. Intriguingly, the same number of Brits see Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn  as Islamophobic, at 9% each…

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