In November 2020 the Labour Muslim Network launched research into the prevalence of Islamophobia within the Labour Party. This groundbreaking research was the biggest consultation of Muslim Labour members in the parties history; and it highlighted an alarming amount of racism within our movement targeting Muslims, as well as a belief by Muslim members that this issue was not being taken seriously.
The report found:
More than 1 in 4 (29%) Muslim members and supporters have directly experienced Islamophobia in the Labour Party.
More than 1 in 3 (37%) have directly witnessed Islamophobia within the Labour Party.
Nearly half of Muslim members (44%) and supporters do not believe the Labour Party takes the issue of Islamophobia seriously.
Nearly half (48%) of Muslim members and supporters do not have confidence in the Labour Party complaints procedure to deal with Islamophobia effectively.
59% of Muslim members and supporters do not feel “well represented by the leadership of the Labour Party.”
More than half (55%) of Muslim members and supporters do not “trust the leadership of the Labour Party to tackle Islamophobia effectively.”
To read the full report, go here: www.labourmuslims.org/research
Following the publication of the report, the Labour Muslim Network also launched a series of roundtables with ordinary members, councillors, MPs and affiliates. We wanted to ensure your voices were right at the heart of our work in tackling Islamophobia in the Labour movement and any action plan created had a bottom up approach. We have always believed for this process to be thorough and true to the experiences of members, it has to be completely open and transparent.
Following the biggest consultation of members in the Party history and a series of roundtables engaging hundreds more, it was agreed with the Labour Party that we would set up an ‘Islamophobia Task Force’ where we would create an action plan and monitor the progress of the actions being taken by the Party.
Below is the draft action plan:
The Action Plan:
The Adoption of the APPG Definition - including the examples on Islamophobia - by the Labour Party and all Labour local authority groups, councils and CLPs.
The development of comprehensive Islamophobia training to be run by the Labour Muslim Network (and other relevant organisations where appropriate) to be rolled out to the Shadow Cabinet, PLP, Councillors and ordinary members.
The development and publication of an Islamophobia handbook (including a list of commonly used tropes) to be publicised and integrated by the party to all members and representatives.
The creation of a code of conduct on Islamophobia to be used by the Labour Party governance and legal unit.
All policies and manifesto’s to be equality impact assessed.
The creation of a new transparent complaints procedure to give Muslim members confidence. LMN and Muslim members to be involved in the new independent complaints procedure being worked on as a result of the EHRC findings.
Reforming the Labour Party selection process.
This draft action plan is thorough and includes the views of thousands of Muslim members and supporters. It has come from direct consultation and roundtables with ordinary members, activists and representatives. However, it is not a static document or action plan. Where necessary we will adjust, add and change as we continue to consult with members and relevant organisations. If you would like to comment, please do feel free to get in touch.
It has been agreed with Sir Keir Starmer and the entire Labour leadership that following the publication of this action plan, there will be a deadline of 6 months upon which LMN will asses the seriousness of action taken by the party in tackling Islamophobia. If we do not see serious commitment and change in this time, we will seek alternative routes to campaign for change and to root out this racism from our party.