Haringey Labour Party comrades organised ‘Rise Up Against Racism’, a festival for anti racist campaigners to meet, discuss and debate the sharp rise in racism and far right groups in the West. I was part of a panel of speakers invited to discuss Islamophobia.
I met co-panellist, Maz Saleem at this event whose father, Mohammed Saleem was brutally murdered in Birmingham five years ago. Makram Ali, another elderly Muslim man was murdered last year outside Finsbury Park Mosque. Islamophobia is a lived experience. The demonisation of Muslims by the media and targeting the community through government schemes such as Prevent means that Islamophobia has become mainstream.
Challenging Islamophobia wherever we see is not just a task of Muslims, decent people with progressive values must also speak up against it. Unfortunately, the demonisation of Muslims will not abate under this morally bankrupt Tory government led by Theresa May who is the architect of the hostile environment. Fighting for a Labour government under Jeremy Corbyn will ensure that Islamophobia is taken seriously and government policy is introduced to stamp it out for good.