The deputy general of the Muslim Council of Britain has called upon the Conservative Party to adopt a cross-party definition of Islamophobia.
The Conservative Party is facing criticism after it refused to adopt the all-parliamentary group on British Muslims’ definition, which has already been accepted by Labour, the Liberal Democrats and Plaid Cymru.
Speaking to talkRADIO’s Matthew Wright, Hassan Joudi said a “solid definition” of Islamophobia was essential for a “free, open and tolerant society.”
Mr Joudi said: “If we want to be a free, tolerant society then we recognise and we need to call out when things go wrong and that includes having solid definitions.
“I think it’s very important that political parties take this issue seriously and adopt the definition.”
The APPG definition states: “Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.”
Conservative deputy chairman James Cleverly said on BBC Politics Live that the party had not adopted the definition out of concerns that “Islam is not a race.”
However Mr Joudi said such criticisms revealed a misunderstanding of the definition’s intentions.
He added: “The definition is not saying that Islam is a race, it is saying that Islamophobia is a type of racism and so hatred towards Muslims bears many resemblances to hatred of race.
“It’s drawing an analogy and saying those that perpetrate hatred towards the Muslim faith are doing it in a very similar way to those that perpetrate hatred and act of hate towards people of other races.“