THE University of Salford’s student union president Zamzam Ibrahim has urged students and members of the public to work together to “Stamp out Islamophobia ”.
Student’s union president Zamzam spoke about Islamophobia at the “Muslim Women in the West” event at Manchester university’s business school on Tuesday evening.
The event was one of many organised by university Islamic societies throughout ‘Islamophobia Awareness Month’ to raise awareness of the rising hate crimes against Muslims and the importance of reporting any attacks.
Zamzam said: “It shouldn’t exist, there shouldn’t be a hatred towards Muslims in our society. If we believe in a society where we don’t want any form of discrimination, then why is Islamophobia acceptable?”.
“As the president of the students union myself, why would I stand by whilst students are targeted or put in difficult positions simply because of their religion? It is a form of discrimination that I will not stand for” she added.
The Muslim Women in the West event featured four speakers who talked about their own experiences with Islamophobia and how the issue needs to be tackled.
“There are a lot of things someone can do to address the issue, it is like any other phobia. We need to actively speak about it, report it when we see it and challenge preconceived conceptions towards Islam and Muslims” Zamzam said.
“If someone isn’t affected by Islamophobia then they can play a part in stamping it out by speaking to the people affected, speak to Muslims. Don’t brush it off as a ‘I hope he’s okay’ ask them how it affects them and that sort of thing. Call it out” she added.
“Something that gets thrown at me a lot is ‘Islam is an oppression that you chose’. It’s a ridiculous thing to say. Someone’s religion is their identity, I am just as much Muslim as I am a black woman. Islam is a part of me, it’s a lifestyle and it’s my lifestyle” she said.
Islamophobia Awareness Month #IAM2017
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Zamzam emphasised the importance of reporting attacks, “It’s incredibly important because these numbers get reported, Islamophobia is prevalent and these reports are the statistics for it” she said.
“If there are these statistics then it allows us to say look there is a rise in hate crimes against Muslims, look at these statistics. There is support for any students who face this sort of thing at Salford ” she said.
Events for Islamophobia Awareness month continues across the North West over the month with a special event running at Manchester University.
To get more information on Islamophobia or to report and incident/attack public members can go online at: http://www.islamophobia.org