IAM Launch Birmingham
Categories: Past Event Articles
Monday November 25 2019
Wednesday 6th November 2019 was the hugely successful launch of Birmingham’s MEND Islamophobia Awareness Month (IAM). With many guests attending, a range of speakers emphasised the importance of recognising Islamophobia in our society and MEND’s contribution to tackling this.
The evening began with MEND’s very own Shuaib Afzal, who gave varied and detailed statistics on hate crime in the UK, one of which being Childline receiving an alarming increase in calls from children experiencing bullying underpinned by Islamophobia.
Dr Peter Rookes, Secretary and 3rd Sector Liaison Officer for the Birmingham Council of Faiths and WM Police Independent Community Facilitator for the CPS Hate Crime Panel; gave a beautiful reminder on the how faith and diversity are strengths for Birmingham. Summing up that as a community we should work together and not allow differences to be used for causing division or hatred. He stated by supporting MEND, and its projects we can encourage dialogue and understanding. This was supported by Saad Bashir, a reporter from BBC, who spoke about his own journey and success in tackling Islamophobia.
Following a prayer break which was viewed by attendees, guests and speakers were able to have lively discussions over a buffet.
Labour candidate for WM PCC Simon Foster brought attention to the need for a legally recognised definition of Islamophobia and how it is important for there to be a cross party agreement on tackling the rising tide of Islamophobia. Kathryn Downs from the Green Party and Mayoral Candidate pointed out, that for real change there has to be greater accountability on the press. Shreen Mohmood a radio presenter and Women’s Right activist, also challenged the promoted narrative of Muslim Women, calling out for change.
The launch concluded with WM Police, Sergeant Mustafa Muhammad and Sergeant Mat Shaer, who both gave pertinent reminders on the absolute need to reporting Islamophobia and all hate crime wherever it occurs. Both encouraging positive relations between the community and Police.
An evening of inspirational and vital speeches began a lively month ahead for Birmingham’s Islamophobia Awareness Month.