The following proposal was passed at the Another Europe National Conference 2021.
Islamophobia has long been a serious problem across British and European society.
The European Court of Justice’s 2021 ruling allowing companies to ban the wearing of headscarves is just one example in a long history of discrimination against Muslim communities.
From centuries’ old orientalist tropes to the recent Leave campaign and mainstream anti-migrant rhetoric, Islamophobia is a hidden but pervasive undercurrent. The far-right across the UK and Europe propagates openly violent anti-Muslim hatred, but Islamophobia is present within liberal and leftwing spaces too.
In the UK, 2017 data showed that 50% of Muslim households are considered to be in poverty, compared with less than 20% in the overall population, whilst Muslim rates of general employment are far lower than that of the overall population, due to structural factors and discrimination from employers.
Dehumanising narratives in politics and the media result in violence and exclusion targeted at Muslim communities. For instance, earlier this year, Arooj Shah, Oldham council’s first female Muslim leader, had her car firebombed.
This conference resolves that Another Europe is Possible will:
- Raise awareness about Islamophobia in the UK and across Europe
- Raise awareness about the link between EU citizens’ rights and the large number of EU citizens who are impacted by Islamophobia
- Work to educate and campaign against Islamophobia in left and progressive spaces
- Recognise Islamophobia as a unique category that manifests as more than generalised ‘racism’, while acknowledging the racialising elements of Islamophobia
- Raise awareness of the intersectionality of Islamophobia, with class, race, gender and sexual orientation
- Challenge Islamophobia as it arises in the media and wider society
- Work with communities and stakeholders with direct lived experience of Islamophobia to build a long term, internationalist campaign of solidarity with all those affected by it
- Draw up specific campaign demands in collaboration with the above groups
4th December 2021