Posted on Friday 2nd November 2012
On Monday 29th October, IASS’s Chris Allen was part of a delegation who met with Baroness Sayeeda Warsi at the Foreign & Commonwealth Offices in London.
The meeting with Baroness Warsi – who is Senior Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and Minister for Faith and Communities – was arranged to discuss the future work programme of the Cross-Government Working Group on Anti-Muslim Hatred on which Chris Allen sits in an independent expert capacity. Also participating in the meeting were a number of representatives from different Muslim organisations, as well as other academics and civil servants from the Department for Communities & Local Government.
Focusing on the future work programme, the Cross-Government Working Group has identified a number of priority areas which its members feel require further investigation. These include:
The recording and monitoring anti-Muslim incidents
The representation of Muslims and Islam in the media
The discourses of the far-right and impact of protests and marches
The role of civil society in relation to community cohesion and integration
Following on from the meeting and Baroness Warsi’s support, the Cross-Government Working Group will now look towards taking the work programme forward over the next couple of years.
Baroness Warsi has spoken about tackling Islamophobia before. Back in 2011 she made the headlines by suggesting that Islamophobia had passed the “dinner table test” believing that prejudicial views and attitudes about Muslims was becoming increasingly seen by many Britons as normal (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/jan/20/lady-warsi-islamophobia-muslims-prejudice). For a decade, Chris Allen has been suggesting something similar, having routinely argued that anti-Muslim views are becoming increasingly ‘normalised’.