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IAM2017 ‘Women and Islamophobia’ Event at Leeds University

IAM2017 ‘Women and Islamophobia’ Event at Leeds University

Categories: Past Event Articles

Thursday December 14 2017

On 22nd November, a landmark event ‘Women and Islamophobia’ was organised in collaboration with Leeds University Islamic Society, Leeds University Ahlul-Bayt Society and Leeds University Students Union. This was another power house line-up of exceptional speakers, which included Professor Salman Sayyid, Dr. Ahmed Hankir, Dr. Amina Easat-Daas, and Zahra Hankir. There was a common thread amongst all these speakers in terms of how Islamophobia is engendered, its impact on women in particular, the role of the mainstream media in portraying Muslim women, and how stigma can cause excessive emotional disconnection from our local communities.

A very unique aspect of this event included a special feature from Conor Ibrahiem, director of ‘Freesia’, the first British film on Islamophobia. A 5 minute clip was shown of the film which resulted in a rapturous applause by the attendees. It was encouraged that students should try and screen the film on campuses to raise awareness of Islamophobia and how this impacts all of us. Lastly, we featured a special video recorded specifically for our event from Dr Rania Awaad, MD Clinical Assistant and Professor at Stanford University, School of Medicine, USA. Dr Awaad was previously faith advisor to the Obama Administration too and shared with us all how the current climate pre and post Trump election is increasing the prejudice and discrimination levels against Muslims across the Atlantic, but left us with light and rays of hope. She stressed that Muslims must continue helping those in need, a fundamental aspect of being a Muslim and to continue serving humanity.

The event was hosted by both the presidents of ISOC and ABSOC, both women, and influential in their own right. The overall message was that Muslim women are a dynamic and an influential force in British society and the press, policy makers and influencers need to take advantage of this dynamism to better enhance not only social cohesion but enhancing a lot of our economic sectors for the benefit of all.

This was a well attended event, and well done to all the students involved in organising this very timely and poignant event.

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