UK: Conservatives Condemned For Rejecting ‘Racism’ Definition Of Islamophobia

From Breitbart:
The Conservatives have come under fire from Muslim groups and Labour MPs for reportedly refusing to adopt a working definition of ‘Islamophobia’ proposed by an all-party Parliamentary group (APPG).

The definition, as put forward by the British Muslims APPG in December, determined that “Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness”, reports The Guardian.

While the definition has been accepted and adopted by Labour, the Liberal Democrats and even the Scottish Conservatives, the Conservative Party in England and Wales have yet to adopt the definition due to concerns that it would negatively impact free speech and restrict legitimate criticism of Islam as a belief system, or of Islamic countries. As such, the Conservatives are appointing two advisors to develop a new, less controversial, definition of Islamophobia.

The government has been advised by the Equalities Office that by British law, Islam is a religion and not a race, illustrating one of the issues with the suggestion that Islamophobia be recognised as a type of racism.

The concerns about free speech were also highlighted by Martin Hewitt, Chair of the National Police Chief’s council, who said that the definition was “too broad as currently drafted, could cause confusion for officers enforcing it and could be used to challenge legitimate free speech on the historical or theological actions of Islamic states”.

The senior officer has warned the definition, if adopted, could even impact counter-terrorism operations in future, The Times reports.

Sayeeda Warsi, the former Chair of the Conservative Party, dismissed Hewitt’s concerns as “irresponsible scaremongering”. She said “a non-legally binding working definition” would not negatively impact free speech or hinder the police in doing their job…

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