Islamophobia definition not about ‘policing people’s thoughts’

Islamophobia definition is not about ‘policing people’s thoughts’

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Imam Ajmal Masroor has said that the new definition of Islamophobia is not about “policing people’s thoughts”.

The government, along with other political parties, has been encouraged to adopt the definition proposed by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on British Muslims. 

The new definition describes Islamophobia as being "rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness".

Mr Masroor told talkRADIO’s Mike Graham: “We are not here to police people’s thoughts and police people’s beliefs.

“If you don’t want to believe that people went to the moon, it is your choice. We live in a free world.”

He added: “I am worried because my nine-year-old niece said she did not want to be a Muslim anymore because in the school playground they call him a terrorist because she is Muslim.

“We are seeing people being called because they are Muslim and praying in a mosque.”

Mr Masroor said that people could criticise his religion “as much as they like” but they should not attack him as an individual.

“We need to be careful to make sure people do not become dehumanised and become targets of vicious attacks,” he added.

Mike argued that more people could be alienated if Islam is seen as "a special case".

“I could be breaking the law for saying I do not believe in Muhammad," he added. 

Mr Masroor responded that the definition “does not say that at all” and that Mike could say that every day if he wanted.

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