An international collective against Islamophobia

Photo by Melanie Lazarow (CC BY 2.0)

Mission statement

Stop–Islamophobia – an international collective against Islamophobia

Vision statement

Combating the structural drivers of anti-Muslim racism through research, advocacy, capacity building outreach and innovative visual reports from across Europe.

Background

Public policy aimed at combating Islamophobia has focused largely on issues of citizenship, identity, and belonging in an attempt to build more cohesive societies, largely ignoring the structural drivers of anti-Muslim racism – the wide range of policies, laws, political rhetoric, media discourse, and discriminatory practices that disseminate and normalise such racist sentiment in the public sphere – as identified by engaged scholars, civil society groups and Muslim communities and organisations.

Islamophobia is essentially racism that overwhelmingly impacts ethnic minorities across Europe and further afield. This project will focus specifically on the European context looking at France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. In the absence of a holistic effort to understand and counter Islamophobia, including where it comes from and how it is spread, the phenomenon is increasingly normalised within political and public spheres.

There is evidently a lack of understanding of, and engagement on the drivers behind Islamophobia by policy/law makers, public officials, and journalists, who in actuality have a role in shaping such drivers. Similarly, there is insufficient space in our political sphere for Muslim communities and civil society organisations working to combat anti-Muslim racism to advocate for alternatives to these drivers.

The Stop-Islamophobia Collective is concerned with the rise of anti-Muslim racism across Europe today and specifically how Islamophobia is being normalised through various structural drivers that contribute to and shape public sentiment. In understanding and tackling Islamophobia, we should look, not at the characteristics of Muslim people, but at political practices and recognise that Islamophobia is in fact a concrete social action that is undertaken in the pursuit of certain interests. These interests will be explored more fully in the research to be undertaken by the Stop-Islamophobia Collective in the coming months.

Despite a deeply concerning increase in racist undercurrents and a shift to the right and far-right across Europe, few attempts have been made to understand the origins of these attitudes or their relationship to wider socio-political practices. The Stop-Islamophobia Collective will situate our research and analysis within this worrisome context and provide advocacy tools through capacity building to tackle the rise of racist attitudes towards Muslim communities.

Objectives

The objectives of the Stop Islamophobia collective include:

• Providing new analysis on the impact of policies, laws, political discourse and media in normalising Islamophobia, to aid national and European authorities to adopt human rights-based best practices.

• Raising awareness among policy makers, public officials and other key public figures regarding the structural drivers that normalise anti-Muslim racism and mobilising support for human rights-based alternatives.

• Strengthening (Muslim) civil society’s capacity to mobilise and combat Islamophobia through cooperation, capacity building, organising within communities, networks, and organisations.

• Increasing the general public’s awareness of, and resilience to, structural drivers of Islamophobia through accessible information and platforms for public engagement in policy.

Activities

The Stop-Islamophobia Collective will achieve these objectives through:

Research and Advocacy:
  • Research focusing on analysing the impact of current policies
  • Making policy recommendations
  • Highlighting examples of best practice
  • Conducting advocacy meetings with policy/law makers and public officials
  • Promoting policy dialogue
Capacity Building:

Hosting mutual exchange and training sessions with Muslim communities and civil society organisations

Outreach:
  • Visual photo-journalist reports portraying Islamophobia through visual imagery and storytelling
  • Speaking tours
  • Film screenings
  • Comics
  • Immersive exhibition in various cities throughout Europe
  • University debates

The organisations that form part of the collective include:

  • Fundación Al Fanar para el Conocimiento Árabe – Spain
  • Comité Justice & Libertes Pour Tous – France
  • IZI Solutions BV – The Netherlands
  • The NOOR Foundation - The Netherlands
  • Spin Watch – Public Interest Investigations – United Kingdom
  • Transnational Institute – The Netherlands
  • Un Ponte Per Association – Italy

An international collective against Islamophobia.

Combating the structural drivers of anti-Muslim racism through research, advocacy, capacity building outreach and innovative visual reports from across Europe.

This project was funded by the European Union’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme (2014-2020).

The content of this project represents the views of the author only and is his/her sole responsibility. The European Commission does not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains.

Contact form

    Contact info

    Would you like to know more?

    Please get in touch via e-mail:

    info@stop-islamophobia.eu