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7th November 2016

Preview: Islamophobia Awareness Month #IAM2016

November is Islamophobia Awareness Month and throughout this month several events will be held on campus to raise awareness of the challenges British Muslims currently face

2015 saw a significant increase in Islamophobic crime, with cases  in Manchester almost doubling according to some surveys. In light of Brexit, Tell MAMA — an anti-Muslim hate crime reporting organization — reveal a 326 per cent increase in Islamophobic related crimes being reported.

“It is very important that we host events during Islamophobia Awareness Month to raise awareness and bring attention to the fact that there has been a rise in Islamophobic attacks in the UK”, Saffa Mir, Students’ Union Community Officer, explains, “the aim of the month is to raise awareness and help offer support to those students who are victims and signpost students as to where they can go to report these attacks”.

The Students’ Union and the University’s Islamic Society will be working with the organisation MEND (Muslim Engagement & Development), one of the founding members of Islamophobia Awareness Month (IAM).

The launch event will be held on Friday 11th of November, from 4.30pm to 6.30pm, at the Students’ Union, where you can expect a representative of MEND, Yusuf Hassan of FOSIS (Federation of Student Islamic Societies) and our Community Officer, Saffa, talk all things Islamophobia. This is a great opportunity to learn the facts, figures, hear personal stories, or share your own experiences.

On the 17th from 6pm at University Place there will be an event discussing Prevent, the Government’s strategy on fighting Islamic extremism. Hear from a solicitor, campaigner and lecturer and get your questions answered in this open discussion on the issues surrounding it.

Finally, to round off IAM on campus, the ‘Muslim Women in the West’ event will be taking place on the 23rd of November at 5pm in Academy 3. According to Tell MAMA, 61 per cent of Islamophobic crime is directed toward women. This event will be an opportunity to explore the challenges Muslims women face but also acknowledge and celebrate their strength and achievements.

MEND hopes that these events will give students the information and courage needed to speak out against Islamophobia, “IAM provides a fantastic platform to deconstruct and challenge some of the stereotypes about Islam and Muslims in the UK…they shouldn’t have to compromise their lifestyle in fear of attack or abuse by perpetrators of hate.”

To find out more about Islamophobia Awareness Month on campus, visit the Student Union website. You can also checkout MEND and #IAM2016 for more events around the city.

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