Definition of Islamophobia

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:29 pm on 16th May 2019.

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Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Conservative, South Holland and The Deepings 1:29 pm, 16th May 2019

That partly depends how far one wants to explore the right hon. Gentleman’s historical point—I imagine his point is largely about the European empires that predominated in relatively modern history. If we were speaking about the ancient world, none of what he said would be true. If we were talking about the Persian or Ottoman empires, none of what he said would be true. If we talked about the Moorish domination of north Africa and southern Europe, none of what he said would be true.

So, if we are going to use history as a means of legitimising or explaining our arguments, it is important that we do so in as holistic a way as possible, though I do not dispute the fact that the right hon. Gentleman is both honourable and a gentleman—perhaps that is the best way of putting it—because I know he has a long-standing commitment to fighting racism in his constituency and elsewhere.

I know that others want to speak and there are many of them, so I am going to deal with my other points fairly briefly.