Skip to main content


Volume 710: debated on Monday 7 March 2022

10. What recent discussions he has had with the anti-Muslim hatred working group on the rise in Islamophobic attitudes. (905904)

The anti-Muslim hatred working group has played a valuable role as the Government’s forum for discussing and advising on anti-Muslim hatred and the challenges faced by Britain’s Muslim communities. While the group was paused during the pandemic they continued their important work through a series of webinars, including an event addressing the fears and myths about the covid-19 vaccination programme. The Secretary of State and I will be meeting the leadership of the group in the next few weeks to discuss the current issues facing Muslim communities and the best way for us to support the group’s work.

Islamophobia remains in all elements of our society, and that includes our major political parties. The difference is that while the Labour party has taken decisive and swift action, the Government have not delivered on any of their promises. The anti-Muslim hatred working group’s own Qari Asim has been critical of the Government’s failure to take tangible action. Will the Minister now follow in the footsteps of the Labour party and take steps to tackle Islamophobia in the UK, starting with a truly independent investigation into the Conservative party? Will she outline when the UK last submitted a report to the UN’s International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, as required of all signatories to the convention?

The Government do remain committed to stamping out anti-Muslim hatred and all forms of religious prejudice. I have had conversations with the hon. Gentleman and I am due to meet the all-party parliamentary group on British Muslims very shortly. We will outline our next steps in due course but we are actively working on this.

I have listened to the Minister, but the tragic reality is that Islamophobia is on the rise and is rife in our society today. If anyone is in any doubt, they should speak to the Muslim communities up and down this country who have to face this evil on a daily basis. How can my constituents have any confidence in a Government who cannot even tackle Islamophobia in their own ranks?

I completely reject the accusation made by the hon. Gentleman—it is completely untrue. We are doing everything we can to tackle not just anti-Muslim hatred but all forms of prejudice in our society. On this issue, we have supported Tell MAMA with just over £4 million between 2016 and 2022 to monitor and combat anti-Muslim hatred. Over the past five years of the places of worship grant scheme we have awarded 241 grants worth approximately £5 million to places of worship. In November 2020 we awarded £1.8 million through the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s faith, race and hate crime grant scheme.