Islamophobia Awareness Month

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In support of Islamophobia Awareness Month (IAM), this November the University will be running several events to raise awareness of Islamophobia as well as highlight the positive contributions of Muslims in the UK. This is the tenth year the annual campaign has run, with events taking place across the country.

A recent report from the John Smith Centre found that more than 83 per cent of Scottish Muslims have experienced Islamophobia. It is rooted in racism and targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness. Islamophobia takes many forms, from the more obvious physical and verbal abuse to the less visible discrimination, marginalisation and exclusion.

Find out more about the report.

The theme of this year’s IAM is #tacklingdenial. The denial of Islamophobia can be seen in many forms in both political and social spaces. Denying the existence of Islamophobia shuts down conversation and prevents any sensible discussion on how to tackle this problem.

The University recently adopted the working definition of Islamophobia developed by the All Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims alongside the guidelines from the Coalition Against Islamophobia. This came about after several teams across the University championed the definition, and the University community led on several awareness-raising discussions that took place during Islamophobia Awareness Month in 2021. This ultimately encouraged an endorsement of a formal proposal by the Edinburgh Diversity and Inclusion Committee and the University Executive.

Find out more on the Staff News website.

Upcoming events

There are several events taking place during November, which staff are welcome to join.

ISocEd events – ISocEd was formed in 2001 to provide a space for all who are interested in Islam. With a combination of social and informative events, the society works to represent and assist all Muslim students at the University, and promote a positive understanding of Islam and Muslims to the wider Edinburgh community. The society has various events planned during November including a talk by journalist Hamza Syed, a panel discussion exploring being a Muslim student in the UK and an event looking at Islam and the History of Arabic Calligraphy.
More information will be posted here.

Beyond Bilal: Black History in Islam – This year’s New College Black History Lecture hosts a conversation with Imam Mustafa Briggs about his new book, Beyond Bilal: Black History in Islam.
28 October, 4 to 5pm at the General Assembly Hall.
Find out more.

Understanding Women’s Activism in Iran Through Cinema – A special screening of Mahshad Afshar’s documentary Women on Both Sides of the Camera followed by a discussion with the director.
3 November, 6:30 to 9pm at 50 George Square.
Find out more.

Institutional Churchification of Islam in Eastern Europe – This lecture will focus on the patterns of governance of Islam in post-communist Eastern Europe, which are found to differ from those common in Western Europe. Governance of Islam in Eastern Europe, particularly in countries with autochthonous Muslim populations, is arguably permeated by churchification of Islam.
8 November, 1:30 to 3:30pm at 50 George Square.
Find out more.

Edinburgh and the World of Islam Walking Tour – An interactive guided walk exploring historical and contemporary connections between Scotland’s capital city and the Muslim world.
9 November, 11am to 1pm, starting at the The Alwaleed Centre.
Find out more.

The School of Divinity is also hosting a series of lectures in Rainy Hall exploring Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations. talks in November will include:

  • Debates on Hunger Strikes and Prison Resistance: Between Islamic Law and Prison Experiences with Dr Walaa Quisay, Leverhulme Posdoctoral Fellow in the School of Divinity on 11 November.
  • A Zoom webinar: Contesting Muslim Legal Sovereignty in Colonial India with Dr Sohaira Siddiqui, Associate Professor of Islamic Studies and Theology, Georgetown University, Qatar on 18 November.
  • (In)tolerant Ottomans: Polemic, Perspective, and the Reading of Primary Sources with Dr Claire Norton, Associate Professor of History, St Mary’s University, Twickenham on 25 November.

Find out more.