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Islamophobia Awareness Month Covered by Leeds Student Journalism

Islamophobia Awareness Month Covered by Leeds Student Journalism

Categories:Past Event Articles

Thursday November 26 2020

Over the past few weeks Islamophobia Awareness Month (IAM) and MEND were featured in The Gryphon (the official newspaper of the University of Leeds) and in Leeds Now (a news site produced by Leeds Hacks, the students of BA (Hons) in Journalism at Leeds Beckett University).

An article titled Islamophobia Awareness Month 2020: What it is and why it’s happeningby Philippa Humphreys details the origins IAM as well as a general insight into what Islamophobia looks like in the United Kingdom. The author of this article consulted both MEND and Professor Salman Sayyid of the University of Leeds on the topic, for example we read that ‘Professor Sayyid describes Islamophobia as a way of “blaming Muslims” for a “loss of privilege” among certain non-Muslim British people. Therefore, Islamophobia should not be viewed as a crisis of Islam, but as a crisis of national identity in the post-colonial West’. The article also explains how individuals and collectives can get involved with IAM:

‘IAM is an opportunity to combat racist narratives as well as the hostility, discrimination and violence which they engender. It is an opportunity to raise the profile of Muslims in various organisations, communities and public spheres and provides a platform which centres Muslim voices and experiences, which are sorely lacking in the British media. IAM is also an opportunity to raise consciousness among non-Muslims: Islamophobia is not only a call to recognise and respect fellow citizens as equals, but a political alarm bell for anyone not on the far-right of British politics.’

In other recent news, Leeds Now reports that as part of IAM Leeds City Council has pledged to beat Islamophobia. As part of this story, Leeds Now consulted with the MEND Leeds Working Group on what this pledge means and what we should expect moving forward. The story touches on how Islamophobia has increased during COVID-19, so the pledge to tackle Islamophobia is needed now more than ever. Haris (from the MEND Leeds Working Group) commented that this pledge must now be followed with the push to raise awareness of Islamophobia and highlight the struggles faced by victims of Islamophobia.

We warmly extend our thanks to both Leeds Now and The Gryphon for highlighting Islamophobia during IAM and the importance of local initiatives, as well as consulting with MEND on the topic.

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