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We need to talk about Islamophobia

MPs and the Runnymede Trust are challenging the government to accept that Islamophobia is a form of racism.

Baroness Sayeeda Warsi famously described it as having “passed the dinner-table test”, but two decades ago ‘Islamophobia’ was a term mostly understood by academic sociologists.

That all changed in 1997 when the Runnymede Trust, a race equality think tank, published a landmark report called Islamophobia: A challenge for us all. The report was the work of a commission of the great and the good chaired by Gordon Conway, then vice-chancellor of the University of Sussex, and it drew wide public attention to the hostility faced by individuals and communities for no reason other than that they were Muslim.

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