In a bid to challenge stereotypes of the Pakistani community and culture, the University of Manchester’s Pakistan society have launched ‘Pakistan Week’, this week.
According to Emad Hanif, current president of the society, the week aims to “tackle misconceptions”.
Pakistan Week will have various activities, ranging from a live concert, debate on government policy to a football tournament.
A member of the society said, “The Pakistan society have so many negative misconceptions, from poverty, extremism, corruption that it makes this week necessary.
“We want to show we are as welcoming as anyone else. We have a live music concert on Monday for free which will showcase Pakistani culture and will also host performances from other societies.”
Next week, the Islamic society will also launch ‘Community Week’ to raise money for a Children’s Oncology Unit and to promote what Islam has to offer to the community.
Organisers of Community Week, Zubair Ahmad and Roheen Khan, said: “The Islamic society launched Community Week to promote ISoc activities on campus and to promote integration in the wider Manchester community.”
The event will have a marquee set up outside university place all week to give people a chance to talk to ISoc members and raise money for charity. The money raise will go to cancer research and treatment.
They believed this event was necessary to address misconceptions about Muslim students on campus and around the UK. They hope people will integrate in ISoc better after this event and has been described as a “long term project” to tackle problems that society members face.
Pakistan Week and Community come at a time when there has been an unprecedented rise in xenophobia and Islamophobia (anti-Muslim prejudice) within the UK. Tell Mama, a group which monitors anti-Muslim incidents, has reported that the number of anti-Muslim incidents are expected to rise to 1,000 by the end of March.
The full agenda of both Pakistan Week and Community Week can be found on the societies’ official Facebook pages.