Posted on Monday 22nd July 2013
Tuesday 16th July was a busy day for IASS’s Chris Allen having attended a meeting with Baroness Warsi at the Foreign Office before presenting oral and written evidence to the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Islamophobia.
The meeting at the foreign Office had been called by Baroness Warsi to discuss recent terror incidents against mosques in Walsall, Tipton and Wolverhampton in the West Midlands. Sitting alongside members of the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Anti-Muslim Hatred working Group, Chris spoke about his research in the West Midlands, especially the Black Country area, and how this had repeatedly highlighted the growing opposition being shown towards mosques and other Islamic buildings. The meeting also discussed the measured response from both Muslim and non-Muslim communities as also what the Government might seek to do if such incidents were to continue.
After the meeting, Chris attended a public hearing of the APPG on Islamophobia at Portcullis House in Westminster. Focusing on ‘Lessons from Woolwich’, Chris supported his written evidence by focusing on the significant rise in anti-Muslim attacks and incidents following the murder of Lee Rigby in Woolwich. Speaking alongside representatives of different faith communities, Chris spoke to Parliamentarians – including Liberal Democrat Simon Hughes and Conservative Stuart Andrew – the need to ensure credibility and balance when presenting evidence relating to anti-Muslim and Islamophobic incidents at a time of heightened tension. In line with the earlier meeting, Chris also raised concerns about the recent attacks on mosques and whether this was evidence of an upscaling of such incidents.
Read Chris’s written evidence to the APPG on Islamophobia
To read recent articles Chris has written about attacks on mosques you can read two here.
The New Statesman: 'For their attackers, mosques are seen as places of "difference"'
Huffington Post: 'Terror in Tipton: Explaining the uneasy relationship the Midlands has with Mosques'
Read some of Chris’s research into opposition against mosques in the Black Country here:
You can also read some of his research into policy approaches to tackling Islamophobia here: