Press release – UK: Conference to define Islamophobia as racism


Islamophobia as a variant of racism is to be the theme of a major conference to be held in London this December.

The conference is a response to commentators who increasingly justify antipathy to Islam on the grounds that it is based on opposition to religious views and not someone’s ethnicity or colour.

However much recent scholarship has viewed Islamohobia’s inferiorising of Muslims as similar to the inferiorisation of non-white communities with shared roots in European colonialism.

The conference will also discuss how Islamophobia has evolved from and replaced biological racism from the colonial period. It will seek to place Islamophobia within the wider xenophobia narrative engulfing Europe.

Simultaneously a twin conference in Edinburgh will explore the alarming increase in Islamophobia in the UK. It will focus on analysing institutional and structural forms of prejudice and hatred against Muslims and suggest ways of tackling it.

In recent years Islamophobia has become a mainstay of government dealings with Britain’s Muslims, not just the hobyyhorse of a right wing fringe. This has stemmed from an increasingly Islamophobic discourse – created by media and politicians – that perpetuates bigotry towards Muslims and leads to an intensified climate of fear that prevents them from expressing their ideas and beliefs.

The conferences are being jointly organised by Islamic Human Rights Commission and Scotland Against Criminalising Communities.

They will be held on Saturday 12 December 2015 and will feature a line-up of renowned speakers including Arzu Merali, Les Levidow, Ramon Grosfoguel, Azeezat Johnson, Hatem Bazian, Katy Sian, Malia Bouattia and Roshan Muhammed Salih.

Notes to editors:

Confirmed supporting organisations include: Campaign Against Criminalising Communities, NUS Black Students, Lewisham Islamic Centre, Intifada Street, The Muslim Directory

For media enquiries or further details please email or call 020 8904 4222 or 07877675998



IHRC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

Islamic Human Rights Commission

PO Box 598



United Kingdom

Telephone (+44) 20 8904 4222



Twitter @ihrc