This week marked the second Worldwide Day to Fight Islamophobia, a day of recognition accepted unanimously by all members of the United Nations.
Islam is the second largest faith on this planet. Round quarter of all individuals on the planet are Muslims.
In trendy historical past, atrocities have taken place in opposition to Muslims proper throughout the globe together with right here in Europe at Srebrenica in 1995. At the same time as I write this, genocide takes place in opposition to Rohingya and Uyghur Muslims, and Kashmiris and Hazara Muslims face persecution.
Within the UK a lot has been executed to deal with this vital subject of Islamophobia. There are over three million Muslims within the UK; 94 per cent really feel capable of practise their faith freely. We’ve got legal guidelines in place – particularly the Equalities Act 2010 which make it a felony offence to discriminate in opposition to somebody due to their race or faith or different protected traits.
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We do, nonetheless, nonetheless face an ongoing problem to deal with anti-Muslim prejudice throughout the nation.
As Member of Parliament for Peterborough, a constituency with a major Muslim neighborhood, I’m very conscious of the horrific prejudice some constituents have encountered due to their religion and that’s the reason at this time is such an vital day – to have fun the progress that has been made however to recollect that there’s nonetheless a lot to do. The Authorities have promised a proper definition of Islamophobia. They now have to ship.
On a current go to to the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus (TRNC) as a part of a parliamentary delegation, I started fascinated about how Islamophobia might be very actual with out being apparent.
Ninety-nine per cent of Turkish Cypriots are Sunni Muslim, whereas within the south of the island round 90 per cent is Orthodox Christian and fewer than two per cent Muslim.
For practically fifty years, the so-called ‘Cyprus subject’ has gone unresolved.
The historical past of Cyprus between 1960 and about 1983 stays disputed relying from which neighborhood’s perspective you strategy this subject. I’ve been to the south of island over a dozen instances, and to the north simply as soon as.
What must be undisputed is a federal power-sharing system existed till 1963. Constitutional modifications, inter-communal violence, displaced Turkish Cypriots communities, and a 1967 army coup in Greece meant issues weren’t rosy previous to 1974. A subsequent army coup on the island, designed to attain union with Greece, led to a army intervention by Turkey, occupation of a 3rd of the island and 1000’s of displaced Greek Cypriots.
In 1983, TRNC declared themselves an impartial nation.
Regardless of eleven makes an attempt since 1963 to resolve the Cyprus subject, and recreate energy sharing, none have been profitable and worldwide diplomacy has failed. Turkish Cypriots stay utterly remoted by the worldwide neighborhood (solely Turkey recognises the TRNC).
It’s a very totally different story within the south of the island, which enjoys recognition throughout the globe and EU membership. It’s a affluent and profitable state.
What struck me throughout our go to, was the failure of the worldwide neighborhood to resolve this subject has subjected the Turkish Cypriot Muslim inhabitants to worldwide isolation.
I left the island questioning whether or not the EU would isolate a European Christian nation in the identical manner they’ve frozen out the Turkish Cypriots.
I’m satisfied that this battle might be resolved if the worldwide neighborhood unites behind efforts to attain this. That is in the very best pursuits of the UK and the Western Alliance as it might open important commerce alternatives and strengthen relations with one among main army powers, Turkey.
As we mark this vital event to deal with Islamophobia, we should do not forget that prejudice in opposition to Muslims takes all varieties and in any respect ranges – even via isolation.