On 17th October 2017 Baroness Warsi asked Her Majesty’s Government “whether they have a definition of Islamophobia; and, if so, what it is.” The Bishop of Norwich, Rt Revd Graham James, asked a follow up question:
The Lord Bishop of Norwich: My Lords, does the Minister agree that, whatever our definition of Islamophobia, one of the most effective ways of preventing it is by good relationships between the different faith communities, exemplified by the new church/mosque twinning programme promoted by the Christian Muslim Forum? That is already established in Oldham, Rochdale, Walsall and Wolverhampton. What can the Government do to encourage those local community initiatives, which can transform the way in which a local community views Muslims in their midst?
Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth: My Lords, the right reverend Prelate is right about the many good examples on the ground, brought about by the Christian church, in conjunction with the Muslim religion and, often, with the Jewish religion. I have seen very effective partnerships, such as Nisa-Nashim, as well as the effective partnerships through virtually all our 42 cathedrals in England, where massive good work is done. Considerable good work, probably more effective than anything, is also done by prominent British Muslims through example. I am thinking of people such as Nadiya Hussain, Mo Farah and so on, who probably do far more by example than many of these programmes.