United Kingdom

UK urged to crack down on hate crimes against Muslims

British Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove, is facing calls to crack down on worsening hate crimes against Muslims by reconsidering the Government’s failure to adopt a formal definition of Islamophobia.

 In 2019, the Government had indicated it would seek to establish a working definition of Islamophobia in order to tackle the problem.

 However, this has reportedly been halted in recent months, with Communities Secretary Mr. Gove having spoken out against the proposed definition in the past.

Sarah Owen, Labour’ shadow minister for faith, and Afzal Khan, parliamentary chair of the Labour Muslim Network, wrote to Mr Gove urging him to use Islamophobia Awareness Month in November to tackle the mounting problem.

 They pointed to “shocking” recent Home Office data showing that recorded incidents of hate crimes against Muslims in the UK rose by 42 per cent in the year ending March 2022.

 “Hate crime against our many Muslim communities in the UK continues to be damaging and shameful – but too often it goes unreported, due to difficulties in identifying this particular type of religious and racial discrimination,” they said, adding, “A country cannot fully tackle an issue it cannot define.”

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