This definition of Islamophobia comes at the right time and can help expose those who seek to divide us with their racism.
It is our hope that this definition makes it clear to those who are confused about Islamophobia, what this crime is and what it’s not.
Importantly, this definition makes clear that the targeting of any Muslim (or those perceived to be Muslim) – men and women, black, brown and white and from any background, due to their Muslim identity – or Muslimness – is Islamophobia.
As you would expect, the definition does not capture all oppressions. Muslim women suffer from misogyny. Black Muslims suffer from anti-black racism. Muslim minorities suffer from sectarianism. These all are real injustices being faced and whilst they intersect with Islamophobia, they are not Islamophobia unless it is the Muslimness of the individual which is being targeted.
Islam is a religion that encourages dialogue, meaningful and friendly exchange of opinion and information about religion, so having this definition is not about avoiding critical discussions about Islam but about protecting the rights of Muslims to practice their faith and protecting others who become victims just because they are perceived to look Muslim.
We welcome this definition and hope it would be adopted for the good of all.