Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony. — Heraclitus

… The word Islamophobia is a neologism and came into common parlance in the 1990s. The Oxford Dictionary defines Islamophobia as the “dislike of or prejudice against Islam or Muslims, especially as a political force.” (Oxford Dictionary) The Encyclopedia of Race and Ethics adds to the definition Islamophobia is “an outlook or world-view involving an unfounded dread and dislike of Muslims, which results in practices of exclusion and discrimination.” (As cited in Wikipedia) While these definitions of Islamophobia are clear, the problem as Robin Richardson, a former director of the Runnymede Trust (a race equality think tank in England) notes is in practice “it fails to distinguish between people who are against all religion from people who dislike Islam specifically; and that the actual issue being described is hostility to Muslims, “an ethno-religious identity within European countries”, rather than hostility to Islam.” (as cited in Wikipedia) The point raised by Robin Richardson is an issue in Canada also. Currently, the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage is following up on the recommendations put forward in motion M-103 and hearing witnesses with a plurality of views regarding the motion. Of those witnesses appearing before the committee delegates from the Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House  advised that the federal government “should strengthen laws against hate speech and crimes by providing a much more clear and inclusive definition of hate crime and Islamophobia.”

Share