Former Equality Chief: Islamophobia Definition a ‘Bullies’ Charter’ for Censorious Muslims

Islamophobia
Muslim demonstrators hold banners at the Danish Embassy on February 3, 2006 in London

Britain’s former equality tsar Trevor Phillips OBE has warned the sweeping new definition of “Islamophobia” is a “bullies’ charter” for Muslims inclined to censor criticism of Islam and Islamic practices.

Phillips, a former Labour politician and son of African-heritage migrants from British Guiana — now Guyana — who served as head of the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) quango and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) which succeeded it from 2003 to 2012, warned that the definition would “make it illegitimate to criticise anyone who uses the fact that they are a Muslim or defending Muslims to make it impossible to contest their point of view”.

The definition, adopted by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims, defines Islamophobia as “rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness”, and has been endorsed by MP including London mayor Sadiq Khan, anti-Brexit Change UK (CUK) leader Anna Soubry, Labour’s David Lammy, and his controversial colleague Naz Shah, who once ‘liked’ and retweeted a social media post suggesting Muslim rape gang victims should “shut their mouths for the good of diversity”.

Phillips cautioned that “What’s actually happening here is that the definition is the foundation of a bully’s charter.”

“You get a university or local authority to adopt this extremely vague, wide-ranging definition. Anyone who says something that could be presented as in any way related to Muslims can then be shouted down,” he explained.

“Essentially they are told they are Islamophobic, that they are bringing the institution, council or Government department into disrepute under their employment contract. That makes them sackable.”

The Government has yet to formally adopt the definition, with Equalities Office officials noting that the law “defines ‘race’ as comprising colour, nationality and national or ethnic origins, none of which would encompass a Muslim or an Islamic practice”, according to The Telegraph.

Even the usually politically correct National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) has expressed “some concerns about the proposed definition of Islamophobia”, suggesting it was “too broad”, “could cause confusion for officers enforcing it”, “be used to challenge legitimate free speech on the historical or theological actions of Islamic states”, and ultimately “undermine counter-terrorism powers, which seek to tackle extremism or prevent terrorism.”

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