Islamophobia is now so prevalent in British society that it deserves to be recognised as the UK's ‘bigotry blind spot’, a group of MPs has said.
A report by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on British Muslims calls on the government to adopt a definition of Islamophobia, which it says will help tackle what it describes as a growing problem.
- Watch the latest episode of Young, British and Muslim - on Islamophobia - here
The report comes at the end of a six-month inquiry by the APPG, where victims across the country shared their experiences of Islamophobia. The inquiry also heard from politicians, lawyers and campaign groups.
Wes Streeting MP, co-chair of the APPG for British Muslims, said: "From attacks on hijab-wearing Muslim women on the streets through to the subtle institutional forms that deprives British Muslims an equal opportunity to flourish within our society, Islamophobia is a form of racism and it is growing in our society.
"To tackle it, Islamophobia must be accurately and fully defined and that’s why this inquiry centred around the discussion on a working definition."
The APPG says adopting a definition is not intended to curb free speech or criticism of Islam as a religion.
Home Office data shows that Muslims account for 52% of all recorded religious hate crime victims. A poll by ComRes last month found 58% of people agreed with the statement ‘Islamophobia is a real problem in today’s society’.
In their own words: British Muslims on being the victims of Islamophobic attacks
Speaking on ITV News' digital series Young, British and Muslim, Miqdaad Versi from the Muslim Council of Britain, who contributed to the report, welcomed the proposed definition of Islamophobia but warned there was still a lot of work to do to tackle the problem.
"There are definitely green shoots out there, there's definitely things going in the right direction", he said. "But we also have to [recognise] the scale of the problem that we're facing. Whilst it's important to be hopeful...there's a long way until Muslims are being treated equally."
- Subscribe to ITV News' YouTube channel to be notified when new episodes of Young, British and Muslim are released. And let us know what you think of the series on Twitter by using #YBMITV