Work Countering Anti-Muslim Bigotry is Human Rights Work

In all of the ongoing debates about ‘definitions’ of ‘Islamophobia’ or ‘anti-Muslim hatred’, there is one simple term that has been lost. That is – the defence of human rights. Muslims, just like any other community have the right to live and be who they want to be without fear, obstruction, prejudice and institutional bigotry.

Now there is also another debate which is subtly raging and that is to push prejudice against Muslims into the realm of racial protections and no-one has discussed this. These provide a lower threshold for, say public order offences, to have additional sentencing added on because there was a racial bias to the crime. It is clear that there are intersectional elements between race and anti-Muslim bigotry in some cases and that cannot be denied. It is a fact. However, in all of the nuanced, sometimes confrontational ideological and academic positions, the reality that the work is based on the fundamental protection of equality and human rights is overlooked.

Within criminal and civil law, anti-Muslim and intra-Muslim bigotry are covered. Whilst there is a real need for a definition to provide a working framework moving forward, let us not forget that at the root of work countering anti-Musim bigotry and for some, Islamophobia, is the defence of basic human rights. These are universal and non-negotiable.


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Categories: anti-Muslim hatred, definition, human rights, Opinions, Racial Bias

If you can’t as a Persecuted Christian Get Asylum in the UK, then Something Warped is Happening

The Times reports today that the lawyer for persecuted Christian, Asia Bibi, has lambasted the Prime Minister and asked that she stand up for persecuted Christians.

The lawyer, Saif ul-Malook, questioned why the Government had not provided asylum for Asia Bib and stated that the Christian world campaigned for Asia and has now turned its back on her.

The Asia Bibi case has already demonstrated that Pakistan is teetering on the verge of being held ransom to religious Islamist zealots. Yet, for Britain to deny asylum to a woman who has spent 8 years in jail because of trumped up charges of blasphemy, shows that there is a drift in this country towards ‘risk management’ whilst at the expense of the lives of the most vulnerable.

The Asia Bibi possibly shows how weak our own country has become in the face of ‘risk’ and in going out of its way to ensure that other communities and cohesion are not blighted. What it seems to many people, is that a beleaguered woman, persecuted for being a Christian, is being thrown under the bus by a majority Christian nation in the hope that her presence does not affect the status quo.

Asia Bibi deserves asylum in the United Kingdom and any individuals or groups who dislike that notion should consider what their values are based on and their space in our country. Anything short of asylum for Asia Bibi means that we no longer care about the sick and the weak. Also, if it turns out that advice has been given to the Prime Minister that Asia’s presence in the UK would be a security risk, this should be exposed and challenged all the way. There is no reason why Asia Bibi should not be with us.

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Categories: Asia Bib, Christians, Islamist extremists, Opinions, Pakistan, Persecution, Prime Minister, Saif ul-Malook