Racism in all its forms is objectionable. Islamophobia is a more nuanced form of hate.
UNISON recognises the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) definition of Islamophobia, which is as follows:
‘Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness’
This is just one description – there are others, but this succinctly summarises the key issue.
Muslims come from all sorts of backgrounds, so the hatred is not aimed at skin colour or ethnicity, but something else. The target is the outward displays of behaviour and dress relating to the followers of Islam.
We must be sensitive to such subtle forms of racism as they can creep up and take hold without us noticing if we are not careful. Islamophobia is just as hateful as other forms of racism and needs to be stamped out.
UNISON is calling on all branches and regions to adopt the definition in order to address this form of inequality and racism. You can invite a member from the National Black Members’ Committee to speak about why it is important to understand and adopt the definition.