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Islamophobia - Motion to Take Note

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:00 pm on 20th December 2018.

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Photo of Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government) 2:00 pm, 20th December 2018

My noble friend is understandably very protective of the report, which I fully understand; the APPG does much great work but, as we have heard in this debate, there are differences that attach to the definition. No Government would want to rush in and say, “Right, this is what we do”. We need to do two things: first, determine that a definition will make things better—that is step one; and secondly, look at the various definitions. It may be that my noble friend is right and the definition that the APPG has come up with is the best one. But that is something noble Lords would expect us to test by consulting with Muslim communities up and down the country, and with others. I am somebody who speaks a lot to Muslim communities around the country. I frequently visit mosques and talk to people about these things. It is not all one-way traffic, as my noble friend will know. For example, TellMAMA is not convinced of the need for a definition. We need to get this right and I am determined that there should be a thoroughgoing discussion before we move things forward.