قام عدد من أعضاء مجلس العموم البريطاني بتشكيل مجموعة لمتابعة ومكافحة ممارسات "الإسلاموفوبيا", وقد استقطبت المجموعة 20 عضوًا من أعضاء المجلس, وبعض الرموز وأعضاء البرلمان.
وقد قامت اللجنة في جلستها الافتتاحية السنوية بتعيين "كريس هوبكنز" عضو الحزب المحافظ في رئاسة المجموعة, وتعيين "سيمون هودجز" عضو الحزب الليبرالي الديمقراطي, واللورد "جانر أوف براون ستون" نائبين لرئيس المجموعة.
وقد شكر "هوبكنز" الأعضاء على ما أسماه بالحدث التاريخي, مصرّحًا بأن الأيام المقبلة ستشهد جملة من التحديات, وأنه يثق بأن الأعضاء يدركون مدى تَعقُّد الأمر, مطالبًا إياهم بالمشاركة بالاقتراحات والسياسات المعتبرة لمعالجة "الإسلاموفوبيا" أينما وجدت.
وقد أكد "هودجز" أن كراهية الإسلام والتغطية على الظلم الذي يتعرض له المسلمون كانا أحد النقاط السوداء في العشرين عامًا الماضية في "بريطانيا" والعالم أجمع.
An All Party Parliamentary Group on Islamophobia has been launched in the House of Commons.
At its inaugural Annual General Meeting, members elected Keighley and Ilkley Conservative MP Kris Hopkins to serve as its Chair with Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Simon Hughes and Labour peer Lord Janner of Braunstone as Vice-Chairs. The Group has so far attracted the interest of more than 20 MPs and peers from across both Houses of Parliament.
Mr Hopkins thanked attendees for being part of what he described as a "momentous occasion." He said: "Whilst challenges will undoubtedly arise in the weeks and months ahead, my colleagues and I are hugely committed to the task in hand. I believe there is already a very strong resolve amongst members to better understand the complex issues involved, and to propose considered, evidence-based policies to tackle Islamophobia wherever it exists."
Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader and Bermondsey and Old Southwark MP Simon Hughes said: “Hatred of Islam and pandering to prejudice has been one of the dark spots of the last 20 years not just in this country but in other parts of the world. All great world faiths have sadly included bigoted and prejudiced fanatics. This is never a justification for whipping up hate and fear against people who are the followers of Islam.
"In a multifaith country and an increasingly multifaith Parliament it is important that politicians of all parties work together to tackle and educate against prejudice wherever it occurs. I am honoured to be one of the inaugural officers of the new All Party Group on Islamophobia."
Labour MP for Blackburn and former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said: "The establishment of this Group is an important development in our collective efforts to provide a wider understanding of the essentials of the Muslim faith, and protection not least for the millions of devout and law-abiding members of the Muslim faith in the UK who have had to put up with the peddling of myths and worse about their beliefs. I therefore greatly welcome the initiative, and will do all I can to make the Group a success."
ENGAGE will serve as the secretariat to the Group. Its CEO, Mohammed Asif, said: "There are many Muslim organisations which have worked for many months to see this project come to fruition. It's been a long, hard struggle but the work now begins in earnest with parliamentarians taking the reins and leading the way. There will be many challenges moving forward but we intend to travel to all parts of the UK to take evidence and record experiences to ensure members hear the voices of the Muslim community".
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