|The News International carries an exclusive report claiming that the government “has established a cross-government working group to tackle anti-Muslim hatred.”|
From the newspaper:
“The News/Jang has learnt exclusively that the group is modeled on the hugely influential cross-government working group on anti-Semitism, set up by the previous Labour government for the Jewish community.
“The Group is chaired by the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) and will have representatives from across government including the Cabinet Office, the Department for Education, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice. This scribe understands that the group will include leading UK academics, Dr Chris Allen from Birmingham University and Dr Matthew Goodwin from Nottingham University.
“Imam Qari Asim from Leeds Makkah Masjid, Akeela Ahmed from Muslim Youth Helpline and Fiyaz Mughal of Faith Matters has also been chosen as key members of the group.”
The creation of such a group was trailed in an article for the Conservative Home website by Paul Goodman, former MP for High Wycombe.
It is interesting to note the parallel made with the cross-department working group on anti-Semitism, though in one important regard the parallel falls by the wayside. The cross department working group on anti-Semitism comprises of “civil servants from across Whitehall, representatives of the Jewish community and representatives of the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism”. The involvement of representative communal bodies is valued for its “allowing community oversight to the Group and giving community leaders a direct opportunity to find out what steps the Government is taking to tackle anti-Semitism.”
What likelihood is there that the government will follow suit and invite Muslim representative bodies, like the MCB, to join the working group and similarly allow “community oversight to the Group and giving community leaders a direct opportunity to find out what steps the Government is taking to tackle Islamophobia”?
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