Anti-Muslim Hatred Working Group
History and activities
On leaving the group after three years Chris Allen wrote:
- Shortly after the re-launch of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Islamophobia in November 2011, I was invited to join the newly formed Cross-Government Anti-Muslim Hatred Working Group hosted in the Department for Communities and Local Government. My understanding was that the Working Group would work closely with the APPG on common themes - as the Anti-Semitism equivalent had done previously - and was to be made up of members from Muslim and civil society organisations plus imams and academics with relevant expertise. With expectations high, I accepted the invitation and joined the group as an independent member, my time and involvement funded solely by my academic institution.
- Three years on and having personally submitted around half a dozen briefing papers to the group and associated politicians, I have now resigned my position, disillusioned by both group and government's shared inability to even begin to move forward the issue of tackling Islamophobia. Having always been open about being a member, I was regularly asked what the group was doing. Sadly, I always had to be hopeful rather than specific, knowing there was always very little of import in the pipeline.
- While we should have been demanding politicians set out what they were intending to do about the 65% increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes recorded by the Metropolitan Police in the past year, we were instead being asked to promote the Big Iftar, Srebrenica Memorial Day or identify Muslim organisations to participate in social media workshops...
- And this is where the problem lies... the voice of the group was non-existent. Probably because some were too scared to put their heads above the parapet, others fearful of losing their seat at the government's table, the group let the politicians off the hook. It had no bite, no influence, no impact. For me, this was most apparent when some of us sent letters requesting meetings with ministers from the departments of health and education: one was ignored, the other declined...
- In spite of recent suggestions that the group had strengthened the evidence base relating to anti-Muslim prejudice through 'academic research', the harsh reality is somewhat different. In fact there has been no 'academic research' to have emerged from the group, let alone funded by it or indeed government. Consequently all the research I've undertaken since becoming a member was wholly independent of the group rather than because of it. The question then is what was I there for.
'The cross-government Anti-Muslim Hatred Working Group is made up of representatives from Muslim communities, independent experts, and academics who are known as independent members, alongside ex-officio members.'
It also consists of the following government departments:
- Attorney General’s Office | Cabinet Office | Crown Prosecution Service | Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy | Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport | Department for Education | Foreign and Commonwealth Office | Home Office | Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government | Ministry of Justice and the National Police Chiefs’ Council
- Akeela Ahmed Government advisor and working group member, Jan 2012 – Present. Since 2012, I have been a Ministerially-appointed UK government advisor, sitting on the Cross Government Working Group on Anti-Muslim Hatred based at the UK Department for Communities and Local Government, recently I was appointed Chair of the Independent members of the Working Group. In this capacity I have consulted for Facebook, Twitter, IPSO and others, to provide them an understanding of the language and nature of anti-Muslim hatred. I regularly meet with senior government officials, Ministers and provide briefings on a range of issues affecting grass roots communities.
- Qari Asim - Deputy Chair
- Julie Siddiqi - independent member
- Nick Lowles of Hope Not Hate
- Imran Awan 
- Iftikhar Awan - former 'Convenor'
- Iqbal Bhana OBE DL
- Shermeen Butt
- Riaz Ravat BEM DL
- Karim Sacoor
- Iman Abou Atta OBE
- Chris Allen - Resigned October 2014
- Fiyaz Mughal - resigned around end of 2013. Reportedly: 'resigned in protest at its activities. “I was deeply concerned about the kinds of groups some of the members had connections with, and some of the groups they were recommending be brought into government,” he said. “It seemed to me to be a form of entryism, by people with no track record in delivering projects.”'
- Muddassar Ahmed
- Sarah Joseph
- Hayyan Bhabha
- Matthew Goodwin
- Chris Allen Why I Quit the Government's Anti-Muslim Hatred Working Group, Huffington Post, 30 October 2014, accessed 27 December 2014
- Anti-Muslim Hatred Working Group. Gov.uk, Accessed 22 April 2020.
- Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government Independent expert appointed to tackle Islamophobia Wired.gov Wednesday 24 Jul 2019 @ 08:10
- HuffPost Julie Siddiqi. Accessed 21 April 2020.
- The National College Imran Awan. Accessed 22 April 2020.
- The next seven names listed in: Tell Mama Finsbury Park attack: Statement from the Anti-Muslim Hatred Working Group Jun 20, 2017
- Andrew Gilligan Islamic 'radicals' at the heart of Whitehall, Daily Telegraph, 22 February 2015. Retrieved from Archive.today of 16 March 2018.
- LinkedIn Hayyan Ayaz Bhabha. Archived 24 April 2020.