Press release: Institutional Islamophobia Conference – December 13

Press release: Institutional Islamophobia Conference – December 13

A high-profile conference on Islamophobia bringing together some of the issue’s leading luminaries will take place in London next week.

Organised by the Islamic Human Rights Commission the gathering will explore and suggest responses to the alarming rise of Islamophobia in the UK.

Recent years have witnessed an unprecedented increase in Islamophobic discourse that perpetuates bigotry towards Muslims and results in an intensified climate of fear that prevents people from expressing their ideas and beliefs. The extreme marginalisation of Muslims is an issue that affects everyone since it strikes at the heart of what it means to live in an inclusive democratic society.

The findings of a discrimination survey published last week by Dr Nabil Khattab and Professor Ron Johnston using data from the Office for National Statistics’ Labour Force Survey of more than half a million people, revealed that Muslims were substantially less likely to have a job of any kind compared to white, British Christians. They concluded that discrimination was “likely to stem from placing Muslims collectively at the lowest stratum within the country’s racial or ethno-cultural system due to growing Islamophobia and hostility against them….They are perceived as disloyal and as a threat rather than just as a disadvantaged minority.”

The focus of the event is to analyse institutional and structural forms of prejudice and hatred with some focus on recent events, particularly in education, political activism, the criminalisation of dissent, the role of the media and the UK government’s anti-terrorist Prevent agenda.

IHRC aspires to erect a platform to build a connection between academia and grassroots work. The aim of the conference is not simply to rehash and configure what Islamophobia entails, but to instead discuss strategies and solutions in a systematic way.

The afternoon will begin with two panels addressing the audience. Each speaker will give a presentation on their own work while also outlining their concerns about state-inspired Islamophobia. The range of speakers is wide with the likes of renowned academics and researchers such as Arzu Merali Salman Sayyid, AbdoolKarim Vakil and Hatem Bazian making appearances as well as activists such as Malia Bouattia and Richard Haley.

This will then be followed by an interactive Q&A and informal discussion with the audience – an activity designed to form part of the process of developing recommendations.

The conference will be streamed live on and viewers around the world will be given the opportunity to participate and engage in the proceedings.

The event has been organised as part of IHRC’s work within the Decoloniality Europe Network. This year different parts of the network are adopting Parti Indigenes de la Republique’s community Islamophobia Conference format.

Date: Saturday 13 December

Time: 2pm – 6.30pm

Venue: Address on invitation/if you have already been co

Nearest tube stations: Russell Square (Piccadilly line); Goodge Street (Northern line); Euston Square (Metropolitan line)


  • Hatem Bazian – Co-founder of Zaytuna College, UC Berkeley
  • Malia Bouattia – Black Students’ Officer at the National Union of Students
  • Marie Breen-Smythe – author and academic, University of Surrey
  • Ramon Grosfoguel – Author and academic, UC Berkeley
  • Les Levidow – Campaign Against Criminalising Communities and Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods; Open University
  • Richard Haley – Chair of Scotland Against Criminalising Communities
  • Arzu Merali – Director of Research at Islamic Human Rights Commission
  • Peter Oborne – Chief political commentator of the Daily Telegraph and associate editor of the Spectator
  • Salman Sayyid – Author and academic, University of Leeds
  • AbdoolKarim Vakil – Chair of the Research and Documentation Committee of the Muslim Council of Britain, King’s College London
  • Lee Jasper – Co Chair of Black Activists Rising Against Cuts & National Black Members Officer for the Respect Party

Supporting Organisations

  • An-Nisa Society
  • Bandung 2
  • Campaign Against Criminalising Communities
  • Council of European Jamaat
  • Free Talha
  • Indian Muslim Welfare Society
  • Islamic Centre of England
  • Islamophobia Watch
  • Lewisham Islamic Centre
  • Muslim Association of Britain
  • Muslim Council of Britain
  • Muslim Directory UK
  • Muslim Engagement and Development
  • NUS Black Students
  • Scotland Against Criminalising Communities
  • Stop the War Coalition
  • World Federation

Notes to Editors:

For more information, or to attend please contact the Press Office and speak to Nadia on +44 20 8904 4222 or email

If you want to bring a fixed camera please let the Press Office know in advance. Video, audio and photographs will be available after the event.


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



United Kingdom

Telephone (+44) 20 8904 4222



Twitter @ihrc

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