About IHRC

Who We Are

The Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) is an independent campaign, research and advocacy NGO that struggles for justice for all peoples regardless of their racial, confessional or political background.

Set up in 1997, we are a non-profit organisation with Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

IHRC is the first Muslim civil rights group in the UK to have a standalone in-house legal department that provides affordable legal services.

IHRC volunteers and campaigners come from many different parts of the world and many different backgrounds to share in the common struggle against injustice and oppression.

What We Do

Research

We investigate, expose and report on human rights abuses. We are active at the UN, EU and The Hague.

Educate

We believe in the empowerment of communities as mobilisers of change. We run workshops, hold events and provide resources to educate and empower. Our bookshop offers a wide range of decolonial, political and Islamic publications. We hold regular events in the book shop with leading authors, academics and artists.

Advocate

Our experienced IHRC Legal team specialises in cases of racial and religious discrimination in the workplace, as well as immigration matters. We provide a free, impartial and independent advocacy service that aims to help people through the complaints process if they are subjected to racial or religious discrimination in public services including housing, education, from the police and other bodies.

Lobby

We meet and lobby governments and institutions to see that justice is served. We organise protest actions. We campaign on some of the biggest issues in our world today, including:

Islamic Human Rights

Our aims and inspiration derives from the concept of human rights in Islam and the Islamic call to to rise up in defence of the oppressed:

“And what reason have you that you should not fight in the way of Allah and of the weak among the men and the women and the children, (of) those who say: Our Lord! cause us to go forth from this town, whose people are oppressors, and give us from Thee a guardian and give us from Thee a helper.” [Qur’an 4:75]

Please join us in the struggle for justice.

Our Funding

IHRC is primarily funded by you, the community. We have received grants from various institutions, including from the EU and Joseph Rowntree Foundation, but do not accept funding from any government. Where we receive institutional funding for a project, we always declare it in all our promotional material.

Read more about us

Islamic Human Rights Commission was founded in 1997 by a group of activists whose vision was to translate their experience in human rights work into an effective organisation that would advocate and defend the rights of people worldwide. IHRC was the first Islamic organisation to focus on the global fight for human rights from an Islamic perspective, doing pioneering work through its research, campaigns and advocacy work, in order to fight for the rights of the weak and oppressed.

Establishing and upholding fundamental human rights in a hostile world is a challenging mission. Whether it’s campaigning for the release of political prisoners or trying to roll back unwarranted extensions of executive power, human rights groups all share the daunting task of facing down actors more powerful than themselves. At IHRC the magnitude of this challenge is actually our most powerful driver. Our raison d’etre is informed and inspired by Qur’anic exhortation for believers to rise up in defence of the oppressed:

“And what reason have you that you should not fight in the way of Allah and of the weak among the men and the women and the children, (and of) those who say: ‘O Lord! Cause us to go forth from this town, whose people are oppressors, and give us from Thee a guardian and give us from Thee a helper’.” – Qur’an, 4:75

We realised that in today’s world it is Muslims who bear the brunt of human rights abuses, but the vast majority of human rights work is predicated on secular liberal values. We pioneered a faith-based discourse that was sensitive to the needs of Muslims but one that also recognised that Islam afforded every individual, regardless of religious background, with fundamental rights.

IHRC is unique in the breadth of human rights work it undertakes: research, campaigns, advocacy, government consultations, legal services, publications, and humanitarian aid as well as other activities. Our work spans national and international forums, including work done with the EU structures and the UN human rights council. No other Islamic organisation serves the community at large with such an extensive range of services.

Our work ranges from assisting individuals in need of support to monitoring the media for incidents of bias, discrimination or incitement; highlighting abuses through briefings, press releases and publications; advising governments and international organisations; researching human rights issues and highlighting issues and priorities to shape the future agendas of wider human rights discourse.

It is a testament to how far we have come that today we are recognised as a leading and highly respected human rights organisation enjoying consultancy status at the United Nations. Punching well above our weight from our unassuming headquarters in London, we produce information that is widely utilised by governmental and other organisations all over the world. We have attended many national and international conferences – the global anti-racism conference in Durban in 2001 is just one example – with a view to influence the direction of policy on human rights.

Our anti-Muslim discrimination reports since 2000, quantifying and explaining Islamophobia in western settings, have covered the UK, France, Germany, Austria, the USA and Canada. Our research has focused on the causes of bigotry as well as its solutions. We have engaged with national and international bodies to implement these solutions in order to combat the scourge of anti-Muslim hatred. We also host an annual Islamophobia conference that each year confronts a key aspect of the problem.

IHRC’s expertise on the Muslim community in Britain has been called on to help inform policy decisions, such as the government’s Muslim Safety Forum which ran between 2001-2011 and brought together senior police officers and representatives of Islamic institutions and Muslim community organisations. We were also involved in the stop & search community panel and the Schedule 7 accountability board, both set up by the Home Office. Our participation was with a view to holding the police accountable for various discriminatory practices against minority communities in the UK.

We have participated in various government consultations, of importance to the Muslim community, with a view to safeguarding the rights of our community. We were the first Muslim organisation to campaign against the war on terror and advocate the freeing of Guantanamo prisoners.

We have furnished the International Criminal Court with first-hand research into Nigerian government atrocities against supporters of the Islamic Movement in 2015 and Myanmar’s abuses against the Rohingya in 2017.

Achieving unity between Muslims is a key focus for us. Since our inception we have striven to tackle the scourge of sectarianism wherever it has arisen, bringing together Sunni and Shia leaders to agree action plans designed to promote harmony.

We have set up humanitarian relief projects to support those most in need. We pay particular focus to areas that are underserved in the Muslim world, as well as those that complement our campaign and advocacy work.

We were the first Muslim civil rights group in the UK to have a standalone in-house legal department that provides affordable legal services. IHRC Legal focuses on employment discrimination and immigration for families who are destitute. To date IHRC has had a number of significant victories in both areas of law. 

IHRC is primarily funded by you, the community. We have received grants from various institutions, including from the EU and Joseph Rowntree Foundation, but do not accept funding from any government. Where we receive institutional funding for a project, we always declare it in all our promotional material.