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.
Tell us a bit about yourself (name, what you study, committee role, any other relevant information)
My name is Khalid Al-Tamimy, I am a third year Software Engineering student, and I am also the president of the Islamic Society (ISOC).
Why did you decide to get involved in organising Islamophobia Awareness Month?
Knowing that a form of injustice exists is not enough if you are able to do something about it. In my position, if I truly care about my fellow Muslims on and off campus then involvement in this campaign is a must, to ensure that my brothers and sisters are not subject to discrimination because of their faith.
Have you organised any events or activities for IAM?
The ISOC has a variety of events lined up this year to educate Muslims and non-Muslims on different aspects of what Muslims face in the world today, and how we can unite as a community to aid those that suffer discrimination.
What are you looking most forward to about IAM?
I am very excited to read through and learn about influential Muslim figures and achievements. Islamic history is incredibly rich and surely serves as inspiration for us to do well in our studies and go and make a positive impact on the world!
How can students get involved in IAM?
Look out on our Instagram page as well as the QMSU website to be kept up to date with any events occurring.
Why is it important to raise awareness about Islamophobia?
Just like with other forms of discrimination, Islamophobia usually affects those that tend to be unable to defend themselves such as children in schools, elderly on the streets or one person being ganged up on by many cowards. Those that discriminate also have qualities of their own, such as discriminating when in groups or behind a social media account. Hence, if more of the public are aware of such antics and work together to eliminate this discrimination, those individuals will cower away from fear of public pressure. As easy as it is to simply call someone out on the street for being Islamophobic or to be nice to a Muslim on the street, the impact it will have on the Muslim is vast and can help keep them feeling safe and loved!
What can we do as a community to combat Islamophobia?
We can call out Islamophobic individuals online or in-person; they fear public pressure. We can read about Islamic history from reliable sources rather than mainstream media; such readings will enlighten us as to how Muslims really have been throughout history and can aid in eliminating any subconscious bias that mainstream media has built in. We can go to large and well-known Mosques/Islamic Centres (London Central Mosque, East London Mosque, Yaseen Youth Centre) and ask senior individuals there to clarify any misconceptions we may have about Islam. What better way to learn about something than to ask the experts? We can invite Muslims to our events (provided they do not serve food/drinks that are impermissible in Islam) and likewise attend their events to see how they are with each other.
Do you have a top tip for Muslim students at QM?
As Muslims we are monotheists, meaning we worship One God (Allah). What better way to spend our days than to communicate with our Creator? My advice to Muslim students at QM is never leave your prayer, for as soon as you do, the rest of life leaves you. Let's hold firm to the rope of Allah TOGETHER and not be divided (Qur'an, 3:103).