November is the UK’s Islamophobia Awareness Month, a time to highlight Islamophobia and Islamophobic hate crimes, as well as showcase the contributions of British Muslims in society. As we come to the end of the month, we’d like to take this opportunity to highlight our #NeverOK and #BeBetterDoBetter campaigns, and some of the support services available for victims of Islamophobic hate crime, both at Keele and within the local area.
What is Islamophobia?
While there is not one agreed upon definition of Islamophobia, we would like to acknowledge two popular definitions:
According to the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG):
“Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.”
According to MEND (Muslim Engagement and Development), Islamophobia is:
“a prejudice, aversion, hostility, or hatred towards Muslims and encompasses any distinction, exclusion, restriction, discrimination, or preference against Muslims that has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life.”
Examples of Islamophobia in public life include, but are not limited to:
Making mendacious, dehumanising, vilifying, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Muslims.
Causing, calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Muslims or those perceived to be Muslim due to their religious identity.
Espousing the belief that Muslims are inferior to other social or religious groups.
Accusing Muslims as a collective of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Muslim person, group or nation, or even for acts committed by non-Muslims (Mend.org.uk)
What is Islamophobic Hate Crime?
Islamophobic hate crimes are acts of discrimination and violence against Muslim members of our community. These may also be referred to as ‘anti-Muslim’ crimes. These incidents usually occur in victims' daily lives such as in the streets, in our shops or waiting for public transport.
If you experience Islamophobia or Islamophobic hate crimes at Keele or in the local area, there are a number of support options available to you:
In an emergency:
In an emergency dial 999 or 112, or contact campus security +44(0)1782 733 00.
After the incident:
Report to the police: https://www.report-it.org.uk/your_police_force
Report to the University: Please contact the Student Services Centre to report incidents of bullying and hate crime and receive advice and support about your options from an adviser. If you'd like to make an anonymous report to the University as Keele staff or student, you can use the online anonymous reporting tool.
Report to the Students’ Union, ASK: ASK provides independent, confidential and accessible advice and support to Keele students.
Report to Challenge North Staffs: You could also report Hate Crime to an organisation like Challenge North Staffs which aims to promote the reporting of Hate Crime in the North Staffordshire area. You can report an incident by completing the form available on their website in the incident report section, or you can contact them by texting 'Hate' + your message to 07537414477 (standard message rate) or telephoning 0330 1111 999 (standard local rates apply).
At Keele, we are committed to tackling Islamophobia and Islamophobic hate crimes through our #NeverOK and #BeBetterDoBetter campaigns. If you would like to read more about any of the issues raised here, please see the below links for further support:
Keele’s Muslim Chaplain: https://www.keele.ac.k/students/lifeoutsideofstudy/faith/contactus/
Muslim Youth Helpline: https://myh.org.uk/
Inspirited Minds: https://inspiritedminds.org.uk/
Muslim Women’s Network: https://www.mwnuk.co.uk/
Muslim Counselling and Psychotherapy Network: https://www.mcapn.co.uk/
The Muslim Council of Britain: https://mcb.org.uk/resources/islamophobia/
Definition of Islamophobia from APPG: https://www.camden.gov.uk/documents/20142/4794543/APPG+Definition+of+Islamophobia.pdf/f747d5e0-b4e2-5ba6-b4c7-499bd102d5aa
Definition of Islamophobia from MEND: https://www.islamophobia-awareness.org/what-is-islamophobia/
Keele’s NeverOK Campaign: https://www.keele.ac.uk/students/lifeoutsideofstudy/neverok/
Keele SU’s Be Better, Do Better campaign: https://keelesu.com/yourunion/campaigns/current/ongoing/bebetterdobetter/