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MEND Leicester: Labour South Members Meeting Presentation

MEND Leicester: Labour South Members Meeting Presentation

Categories: Past Event Articles

Monday February 15 2021

Three steps to tackling phobia within our community

In the light of the shocking revelations contained in the report published by the Labour Muslim Network (LMN), highlighting the extent of Islamophobia experienced by Labour members from within its ranks, Shockat Patel (Chair of the Leicester MEND working group) gave a brief but powerful presentation on the chain of Islamophobia and the impact it has had within the local community. He concluded his talk with a list of three actions that if adopted and supported by the broader council, would make a huge difference to the lives of over 100,000 Muslims living in Leicester.

Is Islamophobia real?

After defining Islamophobia, Shockat went on to explain the chain of this irrational aversion and hostility towards a minority faith. He presented data and findings of studies conducted by academics on how this group is systematically and relentlessly vilified in the media. His presentation was punctuated with facts on how this vilification has impacted the everyday lives of children and women in the community and some cases led to physical attacks resulting in serious injuries in the case of one Muslim woman in Beaumont Leys and three elderly Muslim men in other cities within England.

What’s the solution?

The presentation included details of the work MEND volunteers are doing at a grassroots level to stamp out this form of hate within the Leicester community. These include Education; Empowerment within the Muslim community; Safeguarding the future of Muslim children in Great Britain and highlighting the valuable contribution this community continues to make to this country.

Three next step actions were proposed by MEND:

1. Including Islamophobia awareness training in the workplace and the recruitment process.

2. Raising Islamophobia awareness within schools in the county.

3. Rolling out the awareness of Islamophobia Response Unit (IRU) within council-run public spaces.

The members of the Labour party South Leicester who had invited MEND to speak at their meeting on February 11th paid close attention to the issue being highlighted to them and the call to action presented by MEND. Some of the members recalled their own experiences of Islamophobia and others asked questions about the findings of the LMN report to express surprise and disappointment at the statistics presented to them.

Following the presentation, MEND has received various emails thanking the local MEND working group volunteers for the work they are doing in tackling Islamophobia in Leicestershire and asked what they could do personally to support MEND and in particular, what they should do to tackle this issue within the Labour party. MEND will respond to each of these messages directly, but it will take a concerted effort of all members of the community to stamp this out. If you have any ideas on what Labour members can do or are interested in learning more about how to tackle Islamophobia within our local community, please leave us a comment or message [email protected]

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