UK Launch of the Counter-Islamophobia Toolkit

[updated 23/03/21]The event sought to present and discuss the findings of the two year part EU funded project.

The UK Key National Messages and Project Findings Launch was held at Westminster Hall on 30, November. The opening presentation of the project was delivered by Professor Ian Law and Professor S. Sayyid, followed by a short speech about the Toolkit by Dr Amina Essat-Daas, and a presentation of key issues from the UK Key National Messages, by Arzu Merali.

Watch extracts of the panels below and view photos of the event.  A summary of the event follows.

Speakers in the first panel discussed how to deal with Islamophobia in the short-term and the impact of tropes; themes discussed included policy, policing, schools, media, employment and hate crime. The panel was moderated by Dr Seyfeddin Kara (Assistant Professor at the Duncan Black MacDonald Center for the Study of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations, Hartford Seminary) and included Abed Choudhury (Head of IHRC Advocacy), Malia Bouattia (journalist and former President of the NUS), Syed Muhsin Abbas (journalist) and Karen Chouhan (Senior Area Education Manager for the Workers Educational Association (WEA) in the East Midlands).

The second panel, moderated by Abed Choudhury, focused on equality and writing the terms of the conversation. The speakers included Leroy Logan (former Metropolitan Police Borough Commander), Dr. Katy Sian (lecturer in Sociology, University of York, UK) and Dr. Fatima Rajina (Lecturer in Sociology, Kingston University, UK).

The final panel saw Seyfeddin Kara, Raza Kazim (IHRC) and Abed Choudhury discuss the further possibilities created by the project to tackle narratives of Islamophobia, based on past experiences and current dilemmas, in particularly the role of the racist state in socialising and or paralysing civil society.

The Counter-Islamophobia Kit project documents and critically analyses dominant Islamophobic narratives in operation, and also counter-Islamophobia narratives and related best practices employed in eight EU member states (Belgium, the UK, France, Germany, Hungary, Greece, Portugal, and the Czech Republic) in order to produce the Counter Islamophobia Kit. The project is led by the University of Leeds, University of Liège (Belgium), Charles University (Czech Republic), Central European University (Hungary), University of Coimbra (Portugal), Alba Graduate Business School (Greece) and Islamic Human Rights Commission (UK).

This Toolkit identifies and postulates narratives, arguments, strategies and actions that will be able to directly counter Islamophobia and set guidelines on best practice aimed at countering this form of racism.

The Counter-Islamophobia Kit Project, and the CIK Project Knowledge Exchange event are co-funded by the European Commission – Directorate of Justice

Read the reports of the entire CIK project that looks at 8 EU countries here. Read IHRC’s specific contributions here.