Anti-Muslim Hatred Working Group

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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.[1]


'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.'[2]

It also consists of the following government departments:

'Independent' members

Former members



  1. 1.0 1.1 Chris Allen Why I Quit the Government's Anti-Muslim Hatred Working Group, Huffington Post, 30 October 2014, accessed 27 December 2014
  2. Anti-Muslim Hatred Working Group., Accessed 22 April 2020.
  3. Archive version of LinkedIn: Akeela Ahmed. Captured 20 March 2020.
  4. Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government Independent expert appointed to tackle Islamophobia Wednesday 24 Jul 2019 @ 08:10
  5. HuffPost Julie Siddiqi. Accessed 21 April 2020.
  6. The National College Imran Awan. Accessed 22 April 2020.
  7. The next seven names listed in: Tell Mama Finsbury Park attack: Statement from the Anti-Muslim Hatred Working Group Jun 20, 2017
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Andrew Gilligan Islamic 'radicals' at the heart of Whitehall, Daily Telegraph, 22 February 2015. Retrieved from of 16 March 2018.
  9. LinkedIn Hayyan Ayaz Bhabha. Archived 24 April 2020.