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Stamping out Islamophobia in the UK

Islam, security, and an exploration of what steps society needs to take to get rid of security concerns will form the basis of a debate at an upcoming conference in Glasgow. 

 

No más Islamofobia 05According to a recent YouGov poll, just 23% of British people agree with the phrase: “Islam is not a threat to western civilisation”.  The survey also indicates that 24% of interviewees consider the Muslim faith to be incompatible with being British.

The figures show how a large proportion of British society rejects Muslim culture and beliefs. Islamophobia (the term used to describe the rejection of Islam) has gained ground in recent years.  The attacks by radical terrorist faction Al Qaeda on the US on September 11th 2001 and the London underground in the UK on July 7th 2005, marked a sea change in society’s perception of Islamic culture.

No más Islamofobia 01This is reflected in a report showing that between 2007 and 2011 schools recorded close to 88,000 racist incidents on the part of minors.  Those most likely to be victims of British adolescents are Jews, Gypsies, Blacks and Muslims.

The Muslim community in the UK numbers 2.5 million citizens according to a recent estimate. This figure which has continued to rise over the years, creating heightened controversy.

David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, at one time claimed that so-called multiculturalism had “failed” in the British capital, due to, amongst other factors, the scarce integration of Muslims into British society.

The question of “co-existence” between British and Muslim people will be the main focus of a conference at the University of Edinburgh entitled “Counter-terrorism, airports and community relations with authorities: Muslim experiences in Scotland”.

No más Islamofobia 02Terrorism, relations between the authorities and the Muslim community, and post-9/11 airport security fears will be addressed and debated at the event.

Leda Blackwood of the University of St Andrews will present her research findings and her book, a collection of anecdotes and different experiences Scottish Muslims have faced in their interactions with administrative and public authorities in the region.

In addition, a group of experts will debate the options available to rectify society’s security concerns.

The event will take place Wednesday 27th March at the University of Edinburgh, Glasgow.  It is free to attend.

For more information visit  the http://edinburgh-university-154.eventbrite.co.uk/

 

(Translated by Claudia Rennie – Email: claudiarennie@gmail.com)

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