The Labour Council of Muslims urged Labour leadership candidates to support a 10-point list of pledges on Wednesday, outlined by the UK’s largest Islamic umbrella organisation.
The measures, put together by the Muslim Council of Britain, include adopting the definition of Islamophobia as a “rooted in racism and as a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness", determined by the all-party parliamentary group on British Muslims.
It also requests that candidates defend "religious liberty", support refugees, protect places of worship, and pursue an ethical foreign policy.
We welcome @LabourMuslims support for our 10 key pledges which highlight a range of concerns and priorities for British Muslims. We encourage the @UKLabour leadership hopefuls, and indeed all party leaders, to support Muslim communities by adopting these policies. https://t.co/7ManrxZGWF— MCB (@MuslimCouncil) January 15, 2020
So far, candidates Rebecca Long-Bailey, Emily Thornberry, Keir Starmer, and Jess Phillips have agreed to uphold the pledge.
"I will not just support these pledges, but as leader of the Labour Party I will stand with the Muslim community", said Long-Bailey, who was the first to respond to the demands.
She also called out Conservatives for "ignoring" Islamophobia.
"I support these pledges and would continue to work with Britain’s Muslim communities if leader of the Labour Party", said Starmer, who, according to YouGov, remains the favourite to succeed Corbyn.
The request follows a series of demands issued by the Board of Deputies of British Jews (BoD) on Sunday.
Today we release our #TenPledges, identifying 10 key points we believe Labour needs to sign up to in order to begin healing its relationship with the Jewish community.— Board of Deputies of British Jews (@BoardofDeputies) January 12, 2020
We would expect candidates for Labour Leader or Deputy Leader to publicly & unequivocally endorse these in full pic.twitter.com/fN66jv00c7
The pledges were subject to deep controversy by left-wing Jewish groups and some Labour supporters for being a non-party affiliated organisation trying to "influence" the outcome of an internal election.
Jewish critics slammed the demands for attempting to undermine the independence of the election process and being "questionable" and "potentially illegal".
All of the Board of Deputies' pledges are at best questionable, mostly wrong and two are potentially illegal. I don't know who produced this critique but it shows all the Labour leadership contenders to be utterly useless In combating racism & antisemitism. pic.twitter.com/FeomRXrvXF— Jews Sans Frontieres (@jewssf) January 13, 2020
Desire for Labour to take increased action against anti-semitism and Islamophobia within the party and in Britain in general follows a barrage of accusations which plagued the Corbyn leadership, with Britain's Chief Rabbi allowing “a new poison” of anti-semitism to run throughout the party, just prior to the December general election.
Jeremy Corbyn has consistently said he is addressing any racism within the party and has noted that Labour is no place for anti-semites.
With their immediate vocalisation of support, it appears his successors could be attempting to shed the past concerns that Labour has been associated with anti-semitism.