Definition of Islamophobia — [Mrs Sheryll Murray in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:19 pm on 9th September 2021.

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Photo of Eddie Hughes Eddie Hughes Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government) 4:19 pm, 9th September 2021

I am afraid time will not allow interventions, if I am to conclude.

We remain committed to there being a robust and effective definition, and we will outline our steps to achieve that in due course. I thank hon. Members for the views they have put forward. However, we cannot accept a definition of Islamophobia that shuts down legitimate criticism and debate. Freedom of speech is the foundation of a healthy society, allowing for debate and disagreement underpinned by the values that bind people together—tolerance, equality and fairness. It is important that all have the right to speak freely and provide legitimate criticism.