November is Islamophobia Awareness Month in the UK, which for many within the Muslim community, is an opportunity to speak openly about experiences of discrimination in British society.
To help speak out about discrimination, the National Union of Students (NUS), has launched a new survey which aims “to record the individual experiences of Muslim students and sabbatical officers from around the country.”
The NUS say they hope “this survey will capture the precarious position that many Muslims find themselves in,” adding that with the results they will “produce a set of recommendations for students’ unions on how best to support their Muslim sabbatical officers and Muslim students as a whole.”
In a joint blogpost published at the beginning of the month, NUS Women’s Officer Hareem Ghani, Black Students’ Officer Ilyas Nagdee, and VP of Union Development Ali Milani said: “From state censorship under the guise of counter-terrorism, to the verbal and physical harassment experience by Muslims in public spaces – there is no denying that Islamophobia and systematic racism is a key component of what it means to be a Muslim in Britain today.”
They add that the Muslim community are one of the “most economically disadvantaged” groups in the country, often “held back from reaching their full potential at every stage of their lives.”
The NUS hope that by recording the individual experience of Muslim students, they will be able to shed light onto the extent of Islamophobia in Britain, and also improve the lives of Muslim students across the country.
Throughout the rest of Islamophobia Awareness Month, the NUS are running several other events to help “create a broader discussion on how issues of gender, race and class are intrinsically linked to the Muslim identity.”
For instance, a ‘Gendered Islamophobia’ tour aims to platform the voices of Muslim women, and another round of the ‘Students Not Suspects’ tour aims to fight against the government’s Prevent policy, which the NUS officers mentioned above call ‘draconian’.
The survey will close at 11am on January 8th 2018, and can be found at nusconnect.org.uk.