City Circle Panel Discussion on Islamophobia
Categories: Past Event Articles
Monday February 26 2018
On the 23rd of February 2018, the Central London Working Group participated in a joint panel discussion with City Circle. City Circle is an open platform where issues relevant to British Muslims are explored with speakers and further discussed with the audience.
The panel consisted of Omar Khan, Director of Runnymede Trust. Isobel Ingham-Barrow, who lecturers at University of Exeter and is Head of Policy & Research at MEND and also Hayyan Bhabha, Independent Member, Cross-Government Working Group on Anti-Muslim Hatred.
The key areas discussed included defining Islamophobia and practical steps which can be taken to eliminate Islamophobia. From a MEND perspective, some of the areas which Isobel was able to highlight included current UK law and how this impacts Muslims when it comes to incitement to religious hatred. As she explained in her presentation, the Muslim community is defined and categorized based on religion and not race. As a result, the burden of proof required to prosecute someone under incitement to racial hatred is easy to prove, whereas the burden of proof required under incitement to religious hatred is almost impossible. Further remarks were made about the negative portrayal of Muslims in the media. Some of the pragmatic solutions highlighted by Isobel included the work MEND is doing in relation to Islamophobia, such as the masterclass courses MEND provides on how both the media and political system work in the UK.
Further insightful and beneficial thoughts were also conveyed by the other speakers to a well-attended audience. The audience themselves provided lively engagement with the panel, touching on many aspects of Islamophobia from definitions to the best way to tackle it.
All in all, this was a successful event, whereby a city professionals network partnered with MEND in conveying its vision of encouraging British Muslims to be actively involved in British media and politics.