A councillor described how her sister had dogs set upon her simply for being Muslim.

As Redbridge Council unanimously adopted an official definition of Islamophobia at a full council meeting last night, Cllr Shamshia Ali described the incident, which also involved her disabled six-year-old niece.

She said: “It seems Brexit has legitimised open racism and it is women who bear the brunt of of this.”

Cllr Ali added her mother’s hijab, or headscarf, had been ripped off in the past and other members of her family had been spat at in the street.

The councillor said her biggest fear was for the safety of her children on what was unofficially known as ‘punish a Muslim day’ last year.

She said: “As a mother, the battle I had with myself to let them go out of that door that day. I cannot tell you. It is something I would not wish upon anyone.”

Cllr Jas Athwal, council leader, introduced the motion to adopt the official definition in a council chamber where around 25 per cent of councillors are Muslim.

He said: “Racism is something that should not be tolerated in any society. I would like to thank Wes Streeting MP for his definitive action in rooting out the bigotry, prejudice and outright racism people suffer every day.

“Tonight we agree to stand united with our Muslim brothers and sisters. Words need to be turned into deeds, we need to set the example.”

Cllr Linda Huggett, leader of the Conservative group, seconded the motion.

She said: “We at Redbridge Council are proud of our record on hate crime. We are lucky to have a rich tapestry of cultures here, that is one of the things that makes Redbridge and the country great.

“Discrimination of any kind or any hatred is not to be tolerated, any single case of abuse is one too many.

“But we can never, ever be complacent. We are always looking to do more to stamp out discrimination of any kind as nobody in Redbridge should ever have to live in fear of abuse or attack.”

Redbridge Council is one of the first authorities in the country to officially adopt the All-Party Parliamentary Group definition of Islamophobia.

The group is headed by Wes Streeting, MP for Ilford North who was a councillor for Aldborough ward until last year.

The definition in full is: “Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.”

Mr Streeting said: “From attacks on hijab-wearing Muslim women on the streets through to the subtle institutional forms that deprive British Muslims an equal opportunity to flourish within our society, Islamophobia is a form of racism and it is growing in our society. To tackle it, Islamophobia must be accurately and fully defined and that’s why this inquiry centred around the discussion on a working definition.

“The adoption of this definition by political parties, statutory agencies and civil society organisations will allow us to turn a corner to move forward towards a fairer society.”