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Action Alert: Scottish Parliament Motion for Local Councils to Adopt the APPG Definition of Islamophobia and Guidelines

Monday March 07 2022

Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP, the Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, has submitted a motion in the Scottish Parliament calling on all local councils in Scotland to adopt the APPG definition of Islamophobia and accompanying guidelines.

The definition states: “Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.” 

The guidelines for the definition have been put forward by the Coalition Against Islamophobia.

The motion states:

“That the Parliament recognises and condemns Islamophobia as, it considers, a severe societal problem that needs to be tackled, and therefore calls upon the 32 local authorities in Scotland to adopt the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims’ definition of Islamophobia; acknowledges that Islamophobia is a form of racial, cultural and xenophobic discrimination; understands that 75% of Muslims in Scotland consider Islamophobia to be an everyday issue; considers that this robust definition is an important step in tackling Islamophobia, which, it believes, is why all major Scottish political parties have adopted it, and calls upon Scottish local authorities to adopt the definition, in conjunction with the explanatory guidelines put forward by the Coalition against Islamophobia to tackle Islamophobia in all of its forms.”

Why should councils adopt the APPG definition of Islamophobia?

  • It provides a starting point in tackling Islamophobia.
  • It shows allyship with Scottish Muslim communities that are experiencing racism and discrimination.
  • It shows that Islamophobia is not tolerated in Scotland – over 80% of Scottish Muslims have experienced Islamophobia directly (2021 CPG Inquiry).

Get involved by writing to your local MSP urging them to support the motion!

  1. Read MEND’s Easy Read Guide to the APPG definition of Islamophobia here.
  2. View Template letter here
  3. Find your local Member of Scottish Parliament (MSP) here.

Send them an email urging them to support the parliamentary motion for councils to adopt the APPG definition of Islamophobia and accompanying guidelines.

[Full name]
[Email address]
[Full postal address]
[Phone number]
[Constituency ward]

Dear ____ MSP,

I hope this email finds you well and safe.

Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP, the Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, has submitted a motion in the Scottish Parliament calling on all local councils in Scotland to adopt the All-Parliamentary Cross Party Group’s (APPG) definition of Islamophobia. As your constituent, I not only welcome this motion but urge you to also support this motion.

Adopting the APPG definition not only follows the Scottish Cross Party Group's (CPG) pivotal inquiry into Islamophobia in 2021 but will also cement allyship with Muslims and other communities experiencing racism and discrimination. One of the recommendations of the Cross Party Group on Tackling Islamophobia was “The Scottish Government should work towards adopting a formal definition of Islamophobia to promote understanding, to encourage reporting and to indicate their commitment to addressing it”. I believe adopting the APPG definition would achieve this aim, and would also be a significant step in assisting local authorities in tackling this important issue.

Thank you in advance and I look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely,
[constituent’s name]

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