Building Action Against Islamophobia
About The Event
With Islamophobia on the rise, it is important for us to reflect on how we got here so that we can challenge it effectively. Individual acts of intimidation and violence do not happen in a vacuum, and certainly did not begin with Brexit, or even 9/11. Anti-Muslim politics and policies have deep historical routes that are still evident today, and they target us all, especially the more vulnerable members of our communities: young, poor, refugee and migrant Muslims.
The Inclusive Mosque Initiative held another part of its ‘Raise Your Gaze’ series, entitled “Building Action Against Islamophobia”, on March 3, 2018, to discuss:
· The ways in which Islamophobia manifests at the borders, in the education system, and the media
· How this has come about and what it looks like right now
· How to strategize together on ways to resist.
Program included a talk & Q&A with Suhraiya Jivraj on ‘Islamophobia: Historical Roots, Contemporary Anti-Racist Strategies’ and workshops to learn about and strategies on:
– Islamophobia at the Borders (Shadin Dowson-Zeidan & Sammarah Hanin): how government policy on keeping refugees and migrants out of the country particularly effects Black folks, Muslims, LGBT folks, women, and children.
– Islamophobia in Education (Latifa Akay & Lena Mohamed): how parents’ coercion into stating the nationalities of their children, the Prevent strategy’s focus on young people from poor communities, and the proliferation of hijab bans in schools are evidence of increasingly Islamophobic education policies.
– Islamophobia in the media (Farah Elahi): the relationship between the state and the media, how mainstream media outlets proliferate Islamophobia, and the reach and effect of far right media outlets.
- Dr Suhraiya Jivraj is an activist academic, Senior Lecturer in Law based at the University of Kent and Co-coordinator of the Decolonizing Sexualities Network. She is co-founder and former Co-ordinator of the Safra Project and has worked for a number of anti-discrimination and human rights organizations from grassroots to the UN. Her work draws inspiration from and contributes to critical race/religion studies; gender, sexuality and Islam and post/de-colonial perspectives particularly from the global south.
- Latifa Akay is Director of Education at Maslaha and has led on their work work around gender equality, spearheading and developing their ‘Islam and Feminism’ an ‘Muslim Girls Fence’ education projects. She holds an LLM in Human Rights, Conflict and Justice from SOAS University and an LLB in Law with Politics from Queen’s University, Belfast. She is also a board member at the Inclusive Mosque Initiative.
- Shadin Dowson-Zeidan is involved in migrant solidarity and anti-detention organizing, including with SOAS Detainee Support and North East London Migrant Action, and is a part-time postgraduate student at SOAS researching borders, migration and immigration enforcement. She was a founding member of London Palestine Action, a direct action network challenging Israeli colonialism.
- Farah Elahi is a Policy Officer at the GLA and trustee at the Runnymede Trust. Farah’s previous roles include Research and Policy Analyst at the Runnymede Trust, and the Family and Childcare Trust. Her research has focused on ethnic inequality in London, employment and education. Published reports include Islamophobia: Still a challenge for us all, Nations Divided: How to Teach the History of Partition and Ethnic Inequalities in London: Capital for All.
- Sammarah Hanin is an Anthropology graduate who studied at the University of Sussex. She went on to volunteer with Gatwick Detainee Support, before becoming involved with SOAS Detainee Support in 2015. Sammarah is of Palestinian-Sudanese origin, and has been involved with numerous social justice organisations, focusing largely on youth work and support work within BME communities in London. She now works as a Refugee Resettlement caseworker; and has facilitated workshops around gender equality, police brutality and community sponsorship of Syrian Refugees in the UK.
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