Press release: IHRC to head Islamophobia panel discussion at UN


The rising levels of Islamophobia in the West are to be the focus of a panel discussion at the UN in Geneva this Wednesday.

Organised by the Islamic Human Rights Commission the gathering will explore the extent to which hatred of Muslims has permeated everyday discourse and impacted on the formulation of public policy in western countries.

IHRC’s head of research Arzu Merali will address the audience on the findings of the IHRC’s long-running series of empirical surveys of Islamophobia covering France, USA and the UK. Earlier this year IHRC published its latest report looking at Islamophobia in Canada. Often held up as a beacon of multiculturalism, the report nevertheless found shocking levels of discrimination and bias directed at Canada’s Muslims.

IHRC has been at the leading edge of research into Islamophobia in the West based on its Domination Hate Model of Intercultural Relations, a theoretical framework which argues that hate crime does not exist in a vacuum. An environment must exist so that perpetrators feel they have to act aggressively. The analysis is based on the notion of a hate environment created by hate policies and negative representation, resulting in a hated society, the hated society being Muslims and the majority being the hating society.

Joining the IHRC will be Dr. Salman Sayyid, a renowned academic and specialist on Islamophobia. Now based at the University of Leeds in England, Dr Sayyid’s extensive works on Islamophobia, including the co-edited volume ‘Thinking Through Islamophobia’ have made him a much-consulted authority on the subject.

Dr. Sayyid maintains that Islamophobia does not just affect Muslims, it strikes at the heart of what it means to be democratic.

Date: Wed 17 Sept 2014

Time: 10:00 – 11.30am

Venue:Room XXIV UN Palais De Nations

Refreshments will be served

Notes to Editors:

For media enquiries please email contact or call +41 76 443 7865 or +44 7958 607475 


IHRC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

Islamic Human Rights Commission



United Kingdom

Telephone (+44) 20 8904 4222



Twitter @ihrc