A Conversation About Islamophobia
Categories: Past Event Articles
Friday March 04 2022
On February 9th 2022, MEND held an in-person event with Herriot Watt University Muslim Society (HWUMS) at the Herriot Watt University in Edinburgh. The purpose of the event was to give attendees deeper insight into Islamophobia and to explore their thoughts on the topic.
The MEND regional manager delivered a talk on the causes and cures of Islamophobia, delving into the definition of Islamophobia and how Islamophobia has an impact on Muslims in their everyday lives. We then moved onto discuss the issues Muslims face due to Islamophobia, such as not being accepted for jobs because of their “Muslim-sounding names”. The talk then concluded with ways that Islamophobia can be tackled, such as reporting it when seeing it.
This then led to a group discussion wherein each attendee gave their thoughts in response to questions asked by the host.
One of the questions asked was: “What comes to mind when you think about Islam?”
The attendees (all Muslim) gave a range of responses, such as “Islam is a way of life”; “I think of peace and equality”; “Islam gives me purpose”.
The question was then inverted to “What do you think comes to mind when non-Muslims think about Islam?”
The responses were much different this time, with words like “violence” and “terrorism” being brought up. The group collectively agreed that it was the media that made people feel this way about Muslims. A realisation was met, that many Muslims often blame Islamophobia on themselves, thinking that the problem lies with them when it, in fact, does not.
Towards the end of the event, the HWUMS attendees had gained more awareness about the impact of Islamophobia and how it manifests into Muslims’ daily lives.
Thank you to HWUMS attendees for taking part in the event, and for sharing all of their interesting views.