Islamic Society does Islamophobia Awareness Month

Wajeeha Shiekh


November is Islamophobia Awareness Month (IAM). Now in its third year, the national campaign aims to deconstruct and challenge some of the stereotypes about Islam and Muslims that are prevalent in society; on display in political life, in the media and in the attitudes of the police and courts.

The Islamic Society wants to create an open platform for people to share their opinions and questions about Islam so from the 2nd until 6th November you’ll be able to post your questions and opinions on a board in the Compass or online through a link on our Facebook page. Later in the month we’ll take some time to discuss and answer these questions so that we can promote an understanding of our faith.

In an October 2015 report called ‘We Fear for Our Lives: Offline and Online Experiences of Anti-Muslim Hostility’ by Imran Awan and Dr Irene Zempi, and Tell MAMA (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks) found that the appearance of people’s Muslim identity is significant to eliciting both offline and online anti-Muslim hate crime. It goes on to say that ‘evidence suggests that ‘visible’ Muslims – such as Muslim men with a beard and Muslim women who wear a hijab (headscarf) or niqab (veil) – are at heightened risk of anti-Muslim hostility in public by virtue of their visible “Muslimness.” Atena, like many other ‘hijabis’, has chosen to wear the hijab and so it has become a symbol of liberation, and now with social media trends like #modestymovement on Twitter and Instagram, they are embracing the opportunity to combine personal style with our faith. In light of this, the FXU Isoc are launching ‘The Hijab Experience’. On Tuesday 10th November, Islamic Soc are inviting women to try and wear the hijab for a day and post about their experiences online.  They’ll be in the Compass where we can offer hijab ‘tutorials’ and will be talking about the stigma surrounding Muslim women and other misconceptions about Islam.

They will also be running a Charity Week from 2nd-6th November to fulfil their £10K pledge for the Syria ‘Not 4gotten’ Appeal. On Monday 2nd ,they’re starting off with a bake sale and at 9PM in the Stannary will be hosting an Open Mic night called ‘Jam for Syria’ where you’re invited to perform or sit back and enjoy live spoken word, poetry and music. We’ll be collecting donations throughout the evening. On Tuesday 3rd, come along to the henna stall and the ACS (African Caribbean Society) will be there to braid your hair in a range of styles at our braid bar. On Wednesday 4th, they’ll be running a special round in the Stannary Quiz night that starts at 9PM, all profits from the night will go towards the appeal. On Friday 6th November they’ll be at Woodlane from 11AM with a bake sale, henna stall and braid bar.