Islamophobia in Schools Workshop
Islamophobia lacks a clear definition but whether it is regarded as a form of racism and xenophobia or a misunderstanding of the religion of Islam and muslims, the fact is that muslim children all around the UK are suffering from its effects.
A fear of terrorism in the wake of the high profile attacks of recent months combined with a poor understanding of Islam and muslims has led to innocent children being caught up in the cross-fire. With ethnic minorities already facing attacks, suspicion and exclusion because of being ‘different,’ this is a toxic situation that must be tackled by teachers, parents and community leaders.
What Do we Know about Islamophobia
The first recorded reference to Islamophobia (Islamophobie) was in a 1918 French biography of the prophet Muhammad. It was used to describe the rejection of Islam from within the religion but anti-Islamic feeling from non-Muslims was already being reported at that time.
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L, Sherman. Head of PSHE, Aldenham School, Borehamwood, London.
The actual term Islamophobia in English was first used in 1923 as part of an article in the Journal of Theological Studies. Islamophobia began to enter common parlance in the 1970s, becoming increasingly widely used during the 1980s and 1990s.
In 1997, the Runnymede Trust released a report entitled ‘Islamophobia: A Challenge for Us All,’ within which it outlined certain closed views about Islam which are problematic. These include seeing Islam as being resistant to change, separate from other world views and inferior to the West.
In 2004, Kofi Annan, then Secretary-General of the UN, addressed a seminar on the issue, ‘Confronting Islamophobia,’ in which he urged greater tolerance in the wake of an upsurge in anti-muslim sentiment.
Islamophobia, the Press and Fake News
The media have an important part to play in combatting the negative stereotypes which exist about muslims and Islam but all too often they choose to focus on the shock headlines giving their readers a warped understanding of what Islam teaches and what muslims are like. In addition to media bias, outright fake news platforms delight in openly sharing anti-Islamic material over social media networks.
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Our 2020 Dreams Islamophobia workshop can help to dismantle these harmful ideas by encouraging rational discussion and highlighting the problem of discrimination and prejudice and the media’s role in this.
Citizenship and the National Curriculum
By Secondary school, the need to engage in constructive dialogue and to respect diversity is enshrined in the National Curriculum under the Citizenship section. For Key Stage 3, the Curriculum says that, “Teaching should equip pupils with the skills and knowledge to explore political and social issues critically, to weigh evidence, debate and make reasoned arguments. It should also prepare pupils to take their place in society as responsible citizens.”
By the end of Key Stage 4, the Curriculum states that pupils should have learned about, “diverse national, regional, religious and ethnic identities in the United Kingdom and the need for mutual respect and understanding.”
However, the seeds of division are often sewn much earlier than in Secondary school so we would encourage Primary school educators to consider booking a 2020 Dreams Islamophobia workshop as well.
What Happens in a 2020 Dreams Islamophobia Workshop?
Before misguided ideas can be corrected they need to be talked through and challenged. Our student-led open forum discussions provide the ideal environment for this.
Sometimes for the first time, young people will be able to voice their beliefs and opinions while engaging in constructive debate with those whose views may differ. Our sensitive and experienced facilitators will help to ensure the forum is conducted in a positive manner.
Role play scenarios are another powerful tool our workshop facilitators use to help shift young people out of their own point of view and try wearing another’s shoes for a time.
All 2020 Dreams workshops are sensitively designed to inspire positive change while taking account of sensitivities due to age and cultural background. Facilitators are DBS-checked and workshops are fully risk-assessed beforehand.
If you are interested in booking an Islamophobia Workshop, please either send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0800 4714983.