Islamophobia Awareness Month

At Queen Mary Students’ Union, every month is a reason to celebrate our students because we take pride in the diversity of our student body. In the month of November we run the Islamophobia Awareness Campaign, which is aimed at raising awareness about our Muslim students and celebrating their culture and religion.

What is Islamophobia Awareness Month?
Started 10 years ago in 2012, by a group of Muslim organisations, the aim of the month is to showcase contributions of Muslims in our society, to raise awareness about Islamophobia and also to suggest steps we can take to help our students and colleagues.

What to expect at Queen Mary Students’ Union?
At the Students’ Union a number of our representatives are organising tons of exiciting events throughout the month. This ranges from Campus Hijab day, Friday prayer outside library square to workshops around understanding muslim women working in healthcare.

How can you be involved?
You can be involved by following our Islamophobia Awareness Month campaign on our webpage. All of our events, along with how to attend will be listed here. Many of our events are free to attend and you can simply book yourself onto events here. It will be a great way to meet tons of new people and understand different perspectives!

See all events


Interview: Aisha Qadi

Hear from School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences Rep, Aisha, about her Instagram Q&A for IAM, her rep role and plans for the year.

Interview: Rahma Hegy

Hear from Rahma, our Barts and The London Pre-Clinical Rep, about her upcoming event, the importance of challenging Islamophobia, and what it means to be a rep.

Interview: Khalid Al-Tamimy

Khalid, President of the Islamic Society (ISOC), and a member of the IAM 2021 Organising Committee, discusses the campaign and why it's important to raise awareness of Islamophobia.


Reading list



Facts & Figures
  • CVs submitted under a non-Muslim name are three times more likely to be offered an interview than those with a Muslim name. (Source: BBC News)
  • Muslim students less likely to be awarded top class degrees. Only 18% of Muslims were awarded the top classification, a lower proportion than in any other religious group. (Source: The Guardian)
  • In 2017, Ofsted announced that School inspectors have been told to question Muslim primary school girls if they are wearing a hijab or similar headscarf to ascertain why they do so. (Source: The Guardian)
  • The world’s oldest existing university, Al-Qarawiyyinthe Moroccan city of Fez is credited to have been founded by a Muslim woman, Fatima Al-Fihri (800AD - 878AD). During her lifetime, Fatima was called the ‘Mother of Boys’, likely due to her charity and taking students under her wing.
  • Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 allows people to be detained at the border for up to six hours if law enforcement is concerned they could be engaged in terrorist activities. Detainees have no right to silence, must surrender their phones, computers and passwords and provide fingerprints and DNA on request. A study conducted by Cambridge University researchers in 2014 concluded 88% of those stopped were Muslim. (Source: The Guardian)

Influential figures
Malcolm X

Malcolm X was a minister, activist, and prominent Black nationalist leader whose ideas and speeches contributed to the development of the Black Power movement. He embraced Islam and the civil rights movement when he completed Hajj. Speaking of his experience in Mecca, he stated that seeing Muslims of all colours interacting as equals participating in the same rituals, displaying a spirit of unity, led him to see Islam as a means by which racial problems could be overcome.

Fatima al-Fihri

Fatima Al-Fihri (800AD - 878AD) was a Muslim woman who is credited with founding the world's oldest existing university, Al-Qarawiyyin, in the Moroccan city of Fez! During her lifetime, Fatima was called the ‘Mother of Boys’, likely due to her charity and taking students under her wing.

Muhammad ibn Musa Al-Khwarizmi

Muhammad ibn Musa Al-Khwarizmi was a Persian polymath who specialised in various fields, most notably mathematics, astronomy and geography. Known as ‘the father of algebra’, he was the first to present mathematical solutions that are still used to this day, and without them many jobs (e.g., Engineer) and products (e.g., laptops) would not be as they are today!

Mesut Özil

Mesut Özil is a German professional footballer of Turkish descent. A talented playmaker, he faced controversy in 2019 when he criticised China’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims in East Turkestan and was removed from the Chinese versions of FIFA and PES. His team at the time, Arsenal, distanced themselves from the comments.

Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali was an American professional boxer and activist. Inspired by his spiritual and political mentor, Malcolm X, Ali became widely known and celebrated for his work outside the ring. As a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War, Ali said: “My conscience won’t let me go shoot my brother, or some darker people, or some poor hungry people in the mud for big powerful America”.

Nadiya Hussain

Nadiya Hussain is a British Bangladeshi chef, author and winner of the BBC’s Great British Bake Off. When she won the competition in 2015, she was a full-time mum of three. In her acceptance speech, she said: “I'm never gonna say I can’t do it. I'm never gonna say ‘maybe’. I'm never gonna say, ‘I don't think I can.’ I can and I will”. Since then, she has released several books and TV programmes, and has spoken about her experiences with anxiety.

Riz Ahmed

Riz Ahmed is a British actor, rapper, and activist. Ahmed is notable for his 2017 speech to the House of Commons, where he advocated promoting diversity and combatting negative representations of Muslims in TV and film. From this speech emerged the Riz Test, which raises awareness of the stereotypes of Islam and Muslims that have been constantly reproduced by the media in the years since 9/11 and the global ‘war on terror’.

Hussain ibn Ali ibn Abu Talib

Husayn ibn Ali, son of Ali ibn Abi Talib and grandson of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and the third Imam for Shi’a Muslims. Husayn was martyred in the Battle of Karbala when he raised the standard of revolt against injustice. The life and death of Husayn is observed for his justice, courage, and devotion to save the Islamic nation in the face of tyranny and oppression.

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