A workshop convened by MCB’s Research and Documentation Committee (ReDoc) on 24th November 2012 highlighted the scale of the problem of Islamophobia and discussed responses through a series of workshops.
Workshop participants included leading academics and researchers in the field, policy analysts and community organisers. The event was co-chaired by AbdoolKarim Vakil, chair of ReDoc, lecturer in History at King’s College London and co-editor of ‘Thinking Through Islamophobia’ and Karima Laachir, Chair of the Centre for Cultural, Literary & Postcolonial Studies, School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS).
In his introductory remarks AbdoolKarim Vakil indicated that the workshop aimed to address the “disconnect” evident between debates within the academic community and developments at both grassroots level and policy planning. It was now 15 years since publication of the Runnymede Trust report in 1997, ‘Islamophobia, A Challenge for us all’ and the time had come to take stock, particularly after the shift of attitudes post 9/11. This MCB event formed part of the programme of activities of ‘Islamophobia Awareness Month’. In addition to participants from the UK, the workshop benefited from Irish and French perspectives. The former mayor of London, Ken Livingston also contributed to the discussions.
The day’s session was organised around eight thematic discussions, each initiated by brief presentations:
Academic Research and Public Policy: AbdoolKarim Vakil, Brian Klug, Yahya Birt
Legislation and the Law: Mohammed Abdul Aziz, Bob Pitt, Samia Bano
Data Collection and Monitoring: Azad Ali, James Carr, Muhammed Marwan
Political and Civic Engagement: Ruhana Ali, Shenaz Bunglawala, Humera Khan, Ken Livingstone
Racism and the Far Right: Humayun Ansari, Jim Wolfreys, Gill Cressey
Policing & Securitisation: Asim Qureishi, Scott Poynting, Zaheer Ahmad
Education: Robin Richardson, Shamim Miah, Gargi Bhattacharyya
Media, Culture & Society: Peter Morey, Abdul-Rehman Malik, Ehsan Masood
The proceedings of the workshop, together with additional responses from the participants and other contributions, are to be published by the MCB. Based on the workshop themes, this will draw up a balance sheet of the present situation and map the gaps and strategic priorities for the work ahead.