Harrow council less responsive to Islamophobia, highlights a petition

A change.org petition to the Labour run Harrow council asks for specific inclusion of Islamophobia in the implementation of its motion for ‘commitment to fighting systemic racism’ (July 2020), and to put out a public statement in support of the Islamophobia Awareness Month campaign.
The petition is launched days after the Guardian reported a new poll which found that more than half of Muslim members of the Labour party do not trust Keir Starmer to tackle Islamophobia, with nearly the same proportion saying they do not have confidence in the party’s complaints process.
Early this year, members of the party’s own black and minority ethnic staff network expressed concerns that there is a perception within the party that some forms of racism are regarded as more serious than others.
In setting the background of the Harrow petition, the petition highlights:
“In the past year alone there has been an alarming increase of 92% of recorded Islamophobic hate crime.
“Just last month, local and national press reported that Kamaljit Chana, also a Harrow councillor, has been found guilty of religious discrimination and harassment in the workplace: (“I do not like Muslims” the Times reported, and that the tribunal also found that in a one-to-one meeting with Alipourbabaie in February 2017, Kamaljit Chana said: “Muslims are violent” and “Pakistani men are grooming our girls”.)
“Last November LBC reported “Anjana Patel, a councillor in Harrow, who tweeted angrily at Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai, asking her “how are you going to help?” after Hindu girls in India were molested and converted to “her religion” (Islam). As if it was somehow Malala’s responsibility.”
The petition asks for the Harrow council to take immediate action against Islamophobia including fully and meaningfully recognising November as Islamophobia Awareness Month and taking part in the awareness campaign.
Regarding a private Zoom meeting with few selected attendees organised by the leader of the Harrow council to mark the Islamophobia campaign, the petition says:  “It is highly concerning and unacceptable that the council is not engaging with the local Muslim community about this serious issue. Why is the council not strongly deploring this hatred in all its forms on a public platform?”
Unbelievable that Islamophobia campaign is supported by some behind closed doors but not in public, especially by those who take some voters for granted.
Also concerning that more space has been provided to a small religious group in Harrow West that is less likely to rock Labour boat as they intend to put forward a number of their members for the councillorship through the Labour selection process!
Similarly, Harrow West MP Gareth Thomas has  written a patronising letter of support to some initially.
Conservative group on the council is far more open and positive.
“November is Islamophobia month.  We wish our friends in the Muslim communities well.  Harrow’s Conservative Group condemns all forms of racism, prejudice and discrimination and we stand together with all communities that make up the rich diversity of the citizens of Harrow” said the leader of the Conservative group Cllr Paul Osborn.