MEND at THE MINSTER – Landmark event at the Leeds Minster to raise awareness about Islamophobia
Categories: Past Event Articles
Thursday December 14 2017
For the first time in the Minster’s history, a group of Muslims from MEND and the local communities came together to raise awareness of Islamophobia through a variety of activities, speeches and singing, as part of Leeds first #IAM2017 event. We were very warmly welcomed by the Rector Sam Corley who explained the importance of humanity which are bringing our communities together. he emphasised that understanding each others similarities and differences make us all stronger and more peaceful. Richard Burgon MP for East Leeds praised the Leeds Working Group for coming together with Leeds Minster on this momentous occasion and talked about the role of our mainstream media in perpetuating a hateful narrative. He stated the press need to exercise more responsibility and must be made more accountable. Me Burgon went on to praise the work of MEND nationally in tackling Islamophobia by actually empowering our local communities and was proud that his leader Jeremy Corbyn attending our IAM Launch in parliament despite the attacks against us.
We also had Dr Ahmed Hankir, Chair of the Leeds Working Group give a powerful presentation on stigma and Islamophobia, which was complimented with a presentation from the Yorkshire Regional Manager on the causes and cures of Islamophobia. To finish, we had a local Leeds band ‘Canary Trap’ sing devotional songs about Prophet Muhammed (pbuh), and couldn’t have asked for a better end to the event. This was a first-of-its-kind collaboration between a historical church and a contemporary grassroots Muslim organisation.
We would like to thank the Molkata Group for providing refreshments and volunteers to assist us on the day, as well as all our MEND volunteers from Leeds for making this a reality. This was a ‘true in spirit’ event bringing communities together in new places of mutual collaboration. We are hoping more churches and Muslim groups can work together towards co-existence and peaceful communities.