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UN Day to Combat Islamophobia 2023 – Discussion Panel at the University of Strathclyde

UN Day to Combat Islamophobia 2023 – Discussion Panel at the University of Strathclyde

Categories: Past Event Articles

Monday April 17 2023

On Wednesday 15th March, MEND took part in a panel discussion on Islamophobia, Youth and Identity hosted by the University of Strathclyde. The event, organised by the Centre of Sustainable Development, aimed to raise awareness of the UN Day to Combat Islamophobia.

The event, open to both staff and students, was in an open interview style. On the panel were Omar Afzal – a specialist public policy advisor with over 15 years of experience – and Daniel Gilius, MEND’s Junior Regional Manager in Scotland. The discussion was led by Ali Bakhit of the University of Strathclyde and covered a range of questions looking at the policy issues surrounding the adoption of the APPG definition of Islamophobia as well as an examination of the root causes of discrimination and racism in Scottish society. During the discussion, Omar highlighted the risks of ‘Scottish exceptionalism’ – an idealised perspective of social cohesion in Scotland, emphasising that there are both historical and contemporary examples of Islamophobia in our society. Daniel went on to discuss how investing in supporting young Muslims to understand their identity and sense of belonging can be immensely positive for both the Muslim and non-Muslim communities, by promoting a sense of emotional and spiritual stability.

The discussion on Islamophobia, of course, extends beyond the UN-designated day and it was immensely encouraging to hear the positive feedback from attendees through their questions and comments following the event.

MEND would like to thank all of the staff and students who took part in the event, we would also like to extend our thanks to Ali Bakhit and the University of Strathclyde

Photo credit: The original uploader was SElephant at Chinese Wikipedia., CC BY-SA 3.0 <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/>, via Wikimedia Commons


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