The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on British Muslims found that “prevalent” Islamophobia was driving division, hate crime and even terror attacks.
“British society at large, by virtue of normalised prejudice against Muslim beliefs and practice, have come to imbibe a panoply of falsehoods or misrepresentations and discriminatory outlooks,” its report said.
Harmful myths and lies about Muslims are now believed by a large section of the UK's population, contributing to discrimination across employment, housing, the criminal justice system and other areas of public life.
"Academic research has consistently shown that British Muslims face considerably high levels of economic disadvantage than other groups in Britain."
tThey include the “Winterval” myth that claimed Christmas celebrations were being suppressed and a story that wrongly interpreted research to say one fifth of British Muslims had “sympathy for jihadis”. MPs said that corrections published by newspapers “pale in comparison to the damage done to perceptions of Muslims in British society”.
While there has been a vigourous debate on the definition of anti-semitism, “There has been no attempt to adopt a definition of Islamophobia by government despite recognising the significant impact the problem has on British Muslim communities.” Their report explained, "The detectable shift from overt to subtler or respectable, manifestations of Islamophobia - the normalisation of the prejudice to the extent it is rendered almost invisible to many - warrants a definition that can arrest and reverse its present trajectory.The APPG called on the government to adopt the definition: “Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.” It concluded, " From hate crimes motivated by anti-Muslim feeling, buttressed by stereotypes and racist caricatures prevalent in social and media discourse, to policies which perpetuate discriminatory outcomes for Muslims, a definition of Islamophobia is vital,”