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Trevor Phillips is no Islamophobe—but he is playing with fire

We should be free to criticise any religious belief system so long as we choose our words with care

By Julian Baggini  

David Parry/PA Wire/PA Images

It is extraordinary that a former chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, one of the people responsible for introducing the word “Islamophobia” to the British lexicon, now stands accused of displaying just that prejudice. Yet this is the fate of Trevor Phillips, suspended by the Labour Party while it investigates charges against him.

The Phillips case is a worryingly instructive one. The problem is not just that the accusations appear to be unfounded,…

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