Webinar exploring Islamophobia
In November 2022, to mark Islamophobia Awareness month, the Church of Scotland hosted a webinar to explore Islamophobia from the perspective of three Scottish Muslims.
The aim was to have an open and honest discussion to help Church members understand what Islamophobia was, what it looks and feels like for Muslims and what can be done to both prevent and respond to it. The webinar covers specific examples from hate crime in the street, casual othering in the media and institutional discrimination. It sheds light on what it means to be ‘othered' as a community and ways we might individually speak out and respond both helpfully and safely.
The Church of Scotland's General Assembly agreed at its 2022 meeting to recognise the All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) definition of Islamophobia: "Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness."
The Church of Scotland's adoption of this as a working definition is an important aspect of why this webinar was held and has been recorded as a resource for all to access.
It offers clear insights and answers to questions that many members may have.
The call to action presented by our contributors is for us all to:
- Listen to the experiences as they are recounted
- Help us spot examples in all types of media and amongst friends and family, and find ways to challenge hate speech
- When you witness a hate crime, find a safe way to support the person affected
Our speakers include:
Linsay Taylor – Head of Community Development and Engagement at MEND (Muslim Engagement and Development). Graduated in Scots Law (Hons) and a Masters in Human Rights Law from Strathclyde University. Linsay has always been a community activist working to ensure the voice of the Muslim community and faith communities in general are heard at all levels of political and civil society.
Omar is a Policy and Public Affairs consultant with over 20 years of community service. Omar has served in both the Muslim Council of Scotland and the Muslim Council of Britain and currently holds various board and panel positions including vice chairman of the Madrasa Taleem ul Islam in Glasgow, a founding director of the Possilpark Business Improvement District and a member of the Police Scotland Independent Ethics Advisory Panel, among others. He is also an occasional columnist, opinion writer, media commentator and public speaker on subjects such as Islamophobia, the far right, international affairs, the history of Scottish Muslims, Mosque management and public relations for faith communities and places of worship.
Mahrukh Adnan Shaukat
Mahrukh is a Campaigns Community Research Officer at Amina Muslim Women's Resource Centre.
Mahrukh has been at Amina Muslim Women's Resource Centre for six years. She is currently working on improving the levels of understanding around equalities and inclusion practice across all sectors - especially in regard to gender, race and religion - and creating campaigns for visual and literal representation of a diverse range of Muslim women's voices.
She is in the process of developing community-led research around adult safeguarding in faith-based institutions as a director of SACRED (body:mind:space)
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