Definition of Islamophobia

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:42 pm on 16th May 2019.

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Photo of Khalid Mahmood Khalid Mahmood Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs) (Europe) 1:42 pm, 16th May 2019

That is fair enough.

Those are the issues. I am happy to an extent to see people getting frustrated, because our objective is to get a clear definition. That is what I was after, but that is not coming.

Chapter 4 of the report mentions Trojan horse, with which I am familiar. However, the way it is described in the report has no basis in the events on the ground. I was there. I confronted most of those people. I know how girls were made to sit at the back of the school because they were female, how they were all told to cover their heads and how they were supposed to move on. Two reports were done about that by Peter Clarke and Ian Kershaw. This report ignores all that work. It is therefore absurd to say that this report does something positive.

The report talks about

“Denying Muslim populations the right to self-determination” in Kashmir. The report also mentions Palestine, but I will concentrate on Kashmir because I am a Kashmiri. There is a considerable proportion of Pandits in Kashmir; it is not just a Muslim state. If such claims are to be made in a major report, please get the facts right. Kashmiris are not all Muslims; there are also Pandits, who have long-standing heritage. In fact, the region of Kashmir was created by a Pandit. People who produce these reports must be mindful of such things.

We need balance in this issue, with we as Muslims able to condemn both sides. When radical action, radicalisation and terrorism take place, we should condemn that, just as we should condemn attacks from the right. We should all do that. This is about the mainstream in the United Kingdom and supporting the mainstream of the community. We as Muslims, given our population and the roles we play in this place, the other place and across the country, should do that, and be proud of who we are. We are proud Muslims, and we should start to move away from a victim mentality and be positive about who we are.