Do you have any questions about Muslims and Islam? Visit the Islamophobia Awareness events for answers
November is Islamophobia Awareness Month (IAM) and this year it is aiming to go beyond the Muslim community and reach out to a wider group of people.
Amanda Morris, chairperson of Muslim Engagement & Development (MEND) Cardiff, said that while in the previous years IAM’s primary focus was to engage with Muslims in the UK, one of the main agendas this time is to reach out to people outside the Muslim community.
MEND is one of the co-founders of IAM and is an organisation which specialises in battling against Islamophobia.
Held every November, IAM is a campaign which strives to build awareness about Islamophobia and the hate crimes, verbal abuses, discrimination, and other forms of injustices committed against Muslims.
An analysis conducted by the British think tank Demos can shed light to the prevalence of the problem. According to their website, “Over a year (March 2016-March 2017), Demos’ researchers detected 143,920 Tweets sent from the UK considered to be derogatory and anti-Islamic – this is about 393 a day.”
Amanda mentioned that there are at least six programmes scheduled in and around Cardiff for IAM 2017 (see the sidebar for more information).
The programmes broadly fit into two categories: exhibitions and panel discussions.
The infographic boards which make up the exhibitions give the audience the history of Muslims in the UK and the contribution of British Muslims in our country; they also expose the misrepresentation of Muslims in the media and aim to address Islamophobia by providing various statistics.
Panel discussions, titled Ask a Muslim, involves having a dialogue between a group of experts and the general public.
“People can ask literally anything about Islam and have their confusion cleared,” Amanda explained.
She further said, “IAM will be successful if it is able to change the perception of even just one person, because then he or she will spread the word to others.”