Islamophobia Awareness Month 2023 – Muslim Stories

Published Thursday 2 November 2023 at 10:41

Islamophobia Awareness Month is taking place in November to showcase the positive contributions of Muslims in society as well as raise awareness of Islamophobia.

Blackburn with Darwen takes pride in its diversity and our Muslim community are a vital part of that.

The campaign is now in its 11th year and was founded in 2012 by a group of Muslim organisations.

This year’s theme for Islamophobia Awareness Month (IAM) is Muslim Stories. The goal of this year’s campaign is to build on connections among individuals from diverse backgrounds, including both Muslims and non-Muslims, using the transformative power of storytelling.

Everyone has a story to tell. It can be based on their own experiences or those of someone they admire. And the campaign wants people to take part by sharing their stories and sparking meaningful and engaging conversations.

Islamophobia is a prejudice, aversion, hostility, or hatred towards Muslims. Discrimination is not always as direct as hate crime. It can be unconscious, latent, hidden and in some cases pervasive.

The Mayor of Blackburn with Darwen, Councillor Parwaiz Akhtar, said:

I am proud to serve Blackburn with Darwen as a Muslim Mayor. This is the place I have made my home since the 1970s and where my wife and I have brought up our family.

I’m only halfway through my mayoral year, and already I have represented our borough at dozens of events and occasions. I hope that I have been able to challenge some stereotypes and misconceptions that some people may have about Muslims.

There is no place for Islamophobia in our society, and I’m pleased that the Council is supporting Islamophobia Awareness Month to highlight the positive contributions that Muslims make. Working at Blackburn Royal Hospital, I work alongside a diverse range of people who are united in our common goal of caring for people when they need us most.”

Councillor Phil Riley, Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council, said:

It is absolutely right that the Council shows its support for Islamophobia Awareness Month.

 For more than 60 years Muslims have been making their home in the  borough and they add so much to the richness and diversity of the place and, as a Council, we are absolutely committed to the idea that there is no place for hatred in our towns.

Islamophobia awareness challenges each one of us to look at our own behaviour and to question our own views and to add to a borough where everyone is respected and encouraged to make their own contribution to an overall sense of well-being.  

I hope that by talking about Islamophobia we can help to challenge stereotypes while showing our communities that we stand alongside them against all forms of hate.”

Denise Park, Chief Executive of the Council, said:

As a local authority and as an employer, it is important to us to ensure equality, diversity and inclusion are at the heart of what we do, and the services we deliver for our residents.”






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