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Muslims Connect and MEND: Islamophobia: A Female Perspective

Muslims Connect and MEND: Islamophobia: A Female Perspective

Categories: Past Event Articles

Wednesday November 25 2020

MEND was delighted to partner with Muslims Connect on 19th November for a roundtable panel discussion titled, ‘Islamophobia: A Female Perspective’. The event promised inspiring discussion and empowering advice and given the incredible women involved, this was easily achieved. Guest speakers included:


  • Aisha Davies, chaplain & podcast host
  • Councillor Obaida Ahmed
  • Khadijah Safari, founder of Safari MMA & YouTuber
  • Nadia Rashid, Chair of @NWHateIncident
  • Thaminah Aziz, Sakeenah Foundation
  • Shamila Khan, Fundraising Coordinator at Muslim Hands & radio host
  • Haniya Aadam, Revert Story & MEND
  • Robina Begum, Midlands Regional Manager at MEND

Event host Shreen emphasised the importance of amplifying women’s voices in the conversation around islamophobia, due to the increased burden of islamophobia on visibly Muslim women. Despite the heavy theme of Islamophobia Awareness Month, this event focused on the positive – how we can support each other to raise awareness around the real impact of islamophobia and how we can work together to tackle it in practical terms.


Each guest was able to share their unique perspective and experience, which contributed to building up a picture of the reality of islamophobia faced by Muslim women in the UK. Shamila pointed out that young Muslim women especially do not always feel comfortable sharing their experiences or making complaints at work, but this is crucial for protecting ourselves and others from the normalisation of islamophobic abuse and discrimination. Nadia Rashid from North West Hate Incident echoed Shamila’s advice about the importance of reporting islamophobia, especially because it is so under-reported. Haniya Aadam also highlighted the importance of reporting and speaking out about islamophobia, having a support system and recognising our responsibility as Muslims to challenge oppression in all its forms.


Khadijah and Aisha emphasised the value of interfaith interaction and dialogue, as so much of islamophobia is down to the fact that much of the general public’s exposure to Islam and Muslims comes through media rather than real interactions. Initiatives that bring together Muslims and non-Muslims are so powerful in tackling islamophobia and building solidarity. Thaminah made the point of the importance of dialogue within our own communities as well, in order to raise awareness and support one another in the face of islamophobia.


MEND Midlands Regional Manager Ruby (Robina) also provided suggestions of tangible actions that we as a community can engage in with the aim of tackling islamophobia in British society. Echoing the other sisters on the panel, Ruby emphasised the importance of reporting islamophobic incidents – both to the police and MEND’s dedicated team, raising awareness among Muslim and non-Muslim communities and recognising the power we hold as individuals in challenging hate and pursuing justice.


Thank you to sister Shreen for bringing together this fantastic panel of women to discuss this topic.



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