Nelson Town Council has unanimously voted to endorse a parliamentary stance condemning all forms of racism, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.
The chairman of Nelson Town Council, Coun. Zafar Ali, last night proposed a motion at the Full Council meeting of Nelson Town Council.
The move came after the Lancashire County Council Conservative administration rejected the All Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims' definition of Islamophobia.
Labour opposition group leader on the county council, Azhar Ali, had called for the authority to adopt the wording put forward last year by the APPG on British Muslims, as well as the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism.
But members of the ruling Conservative group expressed concern over the lack of 'clarity' over the Islamophobia definition, which was also rejected by the government earlier this month after claims that it conflated race and religion.
The Nelson Town Council motion was passed unanimously with a named vote.
The APPG definition of Islamophobia states “Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.”
Coun. Zafar Ali said: “I feel strongly about this subject. We live in an inclusive society and I’m proud to come from such a diverse community here in Nelson. I have been receiving complaints from residents for some time now over Islamophobic remarks and this is unacceptable and highly offensive, just like any other form of racism.
"When he/she is elected, I urge the new Prime Minister to adopt the APPG definition which will put out a clear message to the racists and far right campaigners that these types of views will not be tolerated.”
The passed motion read: “Nelson Town Council condemns the decision of Lancashire County Council Conservatives’ decision to reject the All Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims definition of Islamophobia.
"Nelson Town Council adopts the definition of Islamophobia as set out by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims and condemns all forms of racism including anti-Semitism.
"This town council is to write to the Prime Minister and Communities Minister expressing discontent over the decision of Lancashire Conservatives rejecting the said definition.”