Definition of Islamophobia

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:20 pm on 16th May 2019.

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Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government 3:20 pm, 16th May 2019

The holy month of Ramadan marks one of the most sacred times for Muslims across the country and across the world. So let me start by wishing Members of this House, and others observing this period, Ramadan Kareem. I know that in the coming days many Members across the House will be attending iftars—events that bring people and communities together, and celebrate the values that we share and the diverse country that we are. As a country, we are stronger because of the contribution that British Muslims make at every level and in so many different ways. That is why it is right that we should celebrate and be proud of this rich diversity, and of how British Muslims make this country—our country—so special and a place that we all rightly call home.

So it is with regret, but also resolve, that I must turn to this debate focused on a subject that is the polar opposite of that shared drive for inclusion and understanding—confronting Islamophobia. Some of the examples that have been provided here today have been utterly shocking. At the heart of this debate is the intent to stand against those who would cause hatred or intimidation towards, or make threats against, our Muslim brothers and sisters, and the false narratives that underpin or give succour to this.

Hon. Members have commented on social media, the press, and other issues. It is right that we reflect on some of the powerful contributions that have been made.