An anthology complied by a leading think tank warns that a proposed ‘Islamophobia’ definition has serious consequences for free speech. Islamophobia: An Anthology of Concerns is a series of essays edited by Emma Webb, Director of The Forum on Integration, Democracy and Extremism (a project at Civitas).
Referring to the proposed APPG definition of Islamophobia, she argues ‘The definition would have a chilling effect on necessary discussion around the Islamist threat to the UK. In a free society, there can be no arbitration of which criticisms of any given religion or ideology are legitimate, regardless of perceived motive, level of education or quality of debate.’
On the publication, our Director, Lord Singh of Wimbledon said, ‘This comprehensive anthology of widespread concerns about the danger to free speech and legitimate discussion in the use of the vague catch-all term Islamophobia, is both timely and welcome.’
He goes on, ‘The report will not only help protect free speech and legitimate criticism, but also help us understand why Muslims and other religious communities are sometimes the target for hate crimes that shame society. Perpetrators of such crimes do not carry out a detailed study of a religion before expressing antipathy. Hatred arises out of ignorance in which small differences can assume frightening and threatening proportions. It can only be removed through greater emphasis on religious and cultural literacy.’
Other contributors to Islamophobia: An Anthology of Concerns include Rumy Hasan, Peter Tatchell, Ed Husain, Pragna Patel, Mohammed Amin, The National Secular Society and others.
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