"I have long argued that the giving of offence, and even hate speech, should be a moral matter but not a matter for the criminal law. That is as true on the football pitch as on the streets. We should always challenge racism. We should also always challenge attacks on liberties in the guise of faux antiracism." Kenan Malik

National Secular Society

Islamophobia: Unpacking a very difficult question…

Some say ‘Islamophobia’ is a form of racism. Others say there is plenty to hate and fear in Islamic
theology. Islamic fundamentalists try to threaten and silence any criticism or mockery of Islam, while tabloid
newspapers print scare stories demonising ordinary Muslims with regularity.

And of course, the far-right use supposed opposition to “Islam” as a proxy for racism. In the meantime, secularists are hoping for an honest discussion about a religion with increasing influence in the social and political life of the country.

Yes, there is a lot to talk about.

There should be no established state religion.

The state should not fund religious activities.

The state should not fund religious proselytising in any
form and the provision of all services using public money
should be religiously neutral.

The state should not prescribe, proscribe, or amend
religious doctrine.

The state should not interfere in religious hierarchies, nor
interfere in issues strictly related to membership.

No action by the state should have the primary effect of
engaging in religious practice.

No state action should have the primary effect of
restricting religious practice.

The state should not express any religious beliefs, or in
any publication, speech, or other implement of state
power such as currency, sworn testimony, oath of fealty
to the state, or endorsements of national pride. The state
should not imply any derivation of authority from any
religious authority, nor should it express temporal
supremacy in relation to religious belief or practice.

Political leaders should not express religious preferences
in the course of their duties.

No religion or denomination should have the power to
prescribe, proscribe, or amend civil or common law.

FROM THE LEAFET Unpacking Islamophobia

Available from the National Secular Society