November – Islamophobia awareness month

Union Matters

This November, the union is fully supporting Islamophobia Awareness Month as a key aspect of our anti-racist campaigning. Here, our NEC leads for black and minority ethnic members, Ali Moosa and Amarjite Singh, explain the importance of this campaign…

Islamophobia remains pervasive in society, manifested through a spectrum of lived experiences. The scope and scale of Islamophobia is such that, according to the Home Office, 45 per cent of all recorded religious hate crime offences in England and Wales were targeted against Muslims, in the year ending March 2021.

Beyond interpersonal attacks, Islamophobia is systemic in nature, creating barriers in access to employment, impacting educational attainment and restricting political participation.

To battle this hate crime, MEND (Muslim Engagement and Development) co-founded Islamophobia Awareness Month with other British organisations in 2012.

Every November, the campaign aims to work with powerful institutions as well as local communities to raise awareness of the threat of Islamophobia, and campaigning to deconstruct and challenge the stereotypes about Islam and Muslims and to create a much-needed workplace voice and counter-narrative.

It also aims to focus on the positive by celebrating Muslim achievements and highlighting important Muslim figures in history and society.

One way to raise awareness of Islamophobia throughout November, is to raise the profile of anti-Muslim racism and to work together with organisations and the public to counter Islamophobia. There have been many employees and service users who may have been affected by Islamophobia. It is important to understand and to act against this form of hatred and stop it from spreading by reporting hate crimes, bringing the media to account, and spreading awareness of what Islam is really about.

Islamophobia is not welcome in our workplaces or in our society and it must be challenged. The recent revelations at Yorkshire Cricket Club over what is ‘banter’ shows we have a long way to go. It is not acceptable to call a person of Pakistani origin, or someone who looks like having a Pakistani background, a ‘P**I’. This is not ‘banter’ – it is racist abuse.

Islamophobia scars peoples live and undermines our unity. It must be rooted out.

We in the CWU believe everyone is entitled to be treated with dignity and respect. The ability to live and work without prejudice is a fundamental right, regardless of background, identity, and experiences and on 29th November, we will be hosting an online Islamophobia Awareness discussion.

Former Guantanamo Bay detainee Moazzam Begg will be a guest on the panel, which will also include MEND regional manager Mubash-Sharah Khan, CWU postal executive member Sajid Shaikh and Ali Moosa. It will be chaired by Sharon Pratt, CWU South West Region lead for black and minority ethnic members.

To register for the event, please contact equality&