Adopting a definition of Islamophobia
Decision Maker: Council
Decision status: For Determination
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
Councillor Haines left during this item.
Councillor Arshad, seconded by Councillor Azad, proposed the submitted motion as set out in the agenda and briefing note.
After debate and on being put to the vote the motion was agreed.
Council resolved to adopt the following motion:
Oxford City Council is proud of its diversity and has a huge asset and a source of great strength. A substantial proportion of its residents are Muslim, who are an integral part of its make-up, playing a huge role in all aspects of the Oxford City’s life.
Oxford City has a strong history of promoting cohesion and welcoming people from all over the world. Its residents have always united and supported each other in the fight against racism and discrimination in all its forms.
This Council therefore welcomes, endorses and adopts the working APPG (All-Party Parliamentary Group) definition of Islamophobia, including all of its examples in full cited as follows:
"ISLAMOPHOBIA IS ROOTED IN RACISM AND IS A TYPE OF RACISM THAT TARGETS EXPRESSIONS OF MUSLIMNESS OR PERCEIVED MUSLIMNESS."
Contemporary examples of Islamophobia in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in encounters between religions and non-religions in the public sphere could, considering the overall context, include, but are not limited to:
• Calling for, aiding, instigating or justifying the killing or harming of Muslims in the name of a racist/fascist ideology, or an extremist view of religion.
• Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Muslims as such, or of Muslims as a collective group, such as, especially but not exclusively, conspiracies about Muslim entryism in politics, government or other societal institutions; the myth of Muslim identity having a unique propensity for terrorism and claims of a demographic ‘threat’ posed by Muslims or of a ‘Muslim takeover’.
• Accusing Muslims as a group of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Muslim person or group of Muslim individuals, or even for acts committed by non-Muslims.
• Accusing Muslims as a group, or Muslim majority states, of inventing or exaggerating Islamophobia, ethnic cleansing or genocide perpetrated against Muslims.
• Accusing Muslim citizens of being more loyal to the ‘Ummah’ (transnational Muslim community) or to their countries of origin, or to the alleged priorities of Muslims worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.
• Denying Muslim populations, the right to self-determination e.g., by claiming that the existence of an independent Palestine or Kashmir is a terrorist endeavour.
• Applying double standards by requiring of Muslims behaviours that are not expected or demanded of any other groups in society, eg loyalty tests.
• Using the symbols and images associated with classic Islamophobia.
• Holding Muslims collectively responsible for the actions of any Muslim majority state, whether secular or constitutionally Islamic.
This Council asks the Executive Board Member for a Safer and Greener Environment to:
1. Write to government ministers asking them to listen to Muslim communities and the cross-party group of MPs and peers and to adopt this definition of Islamophobia which classifies discrimination against Muslims as a form of racism.
2. Continue to prioritise tackling hate crime and Islamophobia in partnership. Oxford City Council works with partners, especially Thames Valley Police, on a rolling basis, and will now coordinate future actions in line with this definition of Islamophobia for all Muslims.
Publication date: 12/02/2019
Date of decision: 28/01/2019
Decided at meeting: 28/01/2019 - Council