Islamaphobia Awareness Month (IAM)
November is Islamophobia Awareness Month (IAM as it is commonly known); it is a month dedicated to raising awareness about Islamophobia and the methods by which we as a society can work together to eradicate it. Since IAM’s founding in 2012, FOSIS (Federation of Student Islamic Societies) has supported the initiative and is proud to be doing the same this year.
It is so important that these events take place on campuses, especially due to the recent rise in Islamophobic attacks. For example in Greater Manchester there was a 500% increase in Islamophobic attacks after the Manchester arena attack, with some hate crimes taking place around universities and on their campuses.
We have also seen Islamophobia manifest itself in broader issues affecting our students post graduation, with wider issues of Islamophobia in employment and workplace discrimination. For example it was recently reported that Muslim Women were the most economically disadvantaged group in the UK, with many Muslim women also facing a “triple penalty” (being a woman, ethnic minority and Muslim) further impacting on their job prospects. Further worrying statistic include the fact that “Muslim men are 76% less likely to be employed than their white Christian counterparts” adding to the already bleak picture, it is even more imperative that initiatives like IAM take place to realise awareness around this and counter the negative image of Muslims in todays society.
It is for this reason that this year FOSIS has teamed up with the National Union of Students (NUS) on a variety of events, which will be taking place across campuses.
We are working alongside the NUS Women’s Campaign in hosting the “Muslim Women in the West” panel events. The tour aims to raise awareness of the surge in Islamophobic attacks across Europe, with a particular focus on the physical and verbal harassment experienced by Muslim women wearing the hijab, niqab or jilbab.
Alongside the NUS Black Students Campaign, we will be going across the country, talking about the negative implications of PREVENT on Muslim students on campuses as part of the Students Not Suspects tour.
Finally we have fed into the Muslim Student Survey, which has been recently launched by the NUS, helping to tailor the survey around the Muslim students and ensure an opportunity is given for their experiences on campus to be shared. With the aim to address these issues and make sure that institutions are a welcoming place for Muslim students.
We will be rounding off IAM with a Muslim Women Leadership Conference, co lead with NUS Women’s Campaign. Taking place on Tuesday 5th November at Resource London, this conference will be focused upon developing your leadership identity with a range of plenary sessions, workshops and opportunities for networking to enable you to develop.
As FOSIS we have helped support Islamic Societies across the country with their own plans for IAM, putting them in touch with other organisations for resources and exhibitions (MEND) as well as helping in general planning for events for the month. If you would like any more information about events taking place on your campus or would like some support with your IAM campaign please do not hesitate to get in touch.
1. FOSIS (est. 1963) is the umbrella organisation of student groups in colleges and universities throughout the UK and Ireland, representing the interests of over 130,000 Muslim students.
2. For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org