The sixth annual IHRC Islamophobia Conference taking place a week on Saturday will discuss the different ways in which civil society space has shrunk in Britain and beyond, with a particular focus on Muslim civil society organisations and how Islamophobia is driving much of this.
Two events will be held concurrently in London and Glasgow and are co-organised with Scotland Against Criminalising Communities (SACC).
In January 2018, a report by the European Union’s Fundamental Rights Agency hit out at governments for creating a hostile environment for civil society organisations (CSOs) via adverse regulatory environments, withholding of financial resources, putting up barriers to participation in law and policy-making and failing to ensure safe spaces for human rights defenders who are increasingly vulnerable to attacks, and harassment including delegitimising and stigmatising discourse.
The effect of this has been to produce policies that are often counterproductive, discriminatory and which do not address the fundamental concerns, needs and aspirations of Britain’s approximately three and a half million Muslims.
Whether it is the demonization of immigrant communities in America, religious minorities in India or pro-Palestinian NGOs promoting BDS in Germany, powerful groups are using the state, media and group violence to silence and suppress those they oppose.
The common factor in attacks against Muslims participating in civil society is the attempt to delegitimise them by measuring them against loaded definitions of extremism. It is character assassination dressed up as research. The aim is to panic society into reconsidering its association with Muslim organisations. Unless challenged, the Islamophobic ideas underpinning these campaigns will become normalised.
We encourage everyone concerned with these issues to attend and take part in the conversations.
Confirmed speakers for London include Haim Bresheeth, Abed Choudhury, Ramón Grosfoguel, Narzanin Massoumi, Fatima Rajina, Susann Witt-Stahl
WHEN: Saturday 14 December 2019
TIME: Lunch will be served from 12pm and the conference will take place from 1pm-5pm
WHERE: P21 Gallery, 21 Chalton Street, Kings Cross, London NW1 1JD
Full details at https://www.ihrc.org.uk/activities/events/23297-islamophobia-conference-2019-islamophobia-and-shrinking-civil-society-spaces/
Speakers for Glasgow include Moazzam Begg (Cage), Ahmed Uddin (IHRC), Tasneem Ali (Muslim Women’s Association of Edinburgh), Omar Afzal (Muslim Council of Scotland), Mick Napier (Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign), Malia Bouattia (former NUS President), Nargess Moballeghi (journalist) and Ibtihal Ramadan
WHEN: Sat 14 Dec 2019, 11:00am to 7:00pm (doors open 10.30am)
WHERE: Renfield Centre, 260 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4JP
Full details can be found at https://www.sacc.org.uk/events/2019/islamophobia-scottish-conference-2019?fbclid=IwAR3K1AdaHQklEcANriinx6Ee9O5kvG-oWcH0N5foGPimywyW1zTiFdDEXio
For more information or comment please contact the Press Office on (+44) 20 8904 4222 or (+44) 7958522196[ENDS]
IHRC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
Islamic Human Rights Commission
PO Box 598
Telephone (+44) 20 8904 4222