Background Briefing – Islamophobia

By Dr Rakib Ehsan

Background Briefing: Islamophobia

By Dr Muhammad Rakib Ehsan

9th September 2021


The All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims have produced a working definition of “Islamophobia” which is hugely undesirable in a number of ways. Therefore, the UK government was correct in rejecting the “Islamophobia” working definition.

Research Fellow and integration expert, Dr Ehsan, addresses the problematic nature of the APPG’s definition of “Islamophobia” while offering explanations and solutions.


Dr Ehsan makes the case that the APPG British Muslims’ working definition worryingly conflates genuine anti-Muslim prejudice with perfectly reasonable criticism of orthodox religious doctrines and their social implications. As well as undermining academic freedom and suppressing intellectual openness, it would harm the cause of minorities who are internally victimised by orthodox elements of the broader British Muslim population.


To better understand the term “Islamophobia” and understand why the definition is so contentious, read our latest briefing.




About the author

Dr Muhammad Rakib Ehsan is a Research Fellow at Henry Jackson Society (Centre on Radicalisation & Terrorism). He specialises in the socio-political behaviour and attitudes of British ethnic minorities, with a particular focus on the UK’s Bangladeshi and Pakistani ethnic groups.

He holds a BA Politics & International Relations (First-Class Honours), MSc Democracy, Politics & Governance (Pass with Distinction), and a PhD in Political Science, all from Royal Holloway, University of London. His PhD investigated the effects of social integration for British ethnic minorities.

Rakib has had research published by a number of UK-based think-tanks, including Runnymede Trust, Policy Exchange and Intergenerational Foundation, as well as the Mackenzie Institute, an independent security think-tank based in Toronto, Canada.



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