Rethinking the challenge of anti-muslim bigotry

Kenan Malik in Pandaemonium:

Helen-abbas-mosaicIn 1997 the British anti-racist organisation the Runnymede Trust published its highly influential report Islamophobia: A Challenge for Us All. The report both brought to public consciousness the reality of anti-Muslim bigotry and framed it in terms of ‘Islamophobia’ – indeed, it played a significant role in establishing the term as legitimate and important. Twenty years on, the Runnymede Trust has brought out a follow-up report Islamophobia: Still a Challenge for Us All, which is a stock-take on current views, and facts, about the issue.

I have long been a critic of the term ‘islamophobia’, arguing that it confuses matters, framing anti-Muslim discrimination and bigotry in a way that compounds, rather than alleviates, the problems facing Muslims. I was invited to write a chapter for the new report that explores some of these themes. My thanks to the Runnymede Trust, and especially to its director Omar Khan, for being so generous in giving space to a critic. I hope the report becomes the focus of a proper debate about the issue of anti-Muslim bigotry, and of how to deal with it.

More here. [Thanks to Paul Braterman.]