HomeUKIslamophobia Plagues Our Education, Politics, and Media. Why Is Nothing Changing?

Islamophobia Plagues Our Education, Politics, and Media. Why Is Nothing Changing?

Muslims aren’t surprised when a new year brings with it fresh instances of Islamophobia.

In January 2021, a four-year-old in the West Midland was referred to Prevent, the government’s controversial anti-terrorism scheme, over a game of Fortnight (parents said the police turned up to their home at 10:30 at night).

In February, the first female secretary general to the Muslim Council of Britain, Zara Mohammed, was subjected to a hostile interview on the BBC, and forced to negate the “backward”, sexist ways of her religion.

By March, two schools in Birmingham and Slough were being told to train Muslim students to effectively spy on one another, according to Prevent Watch, a community-led initiative that monitors the Prevent scheme.

Later in the year, anti-Muslim hate showed its face again when MP David Amess’s tragic killing in October led to death threats to British Somalis.

Then in November, Azeem Rafiq’s heart-wrenching testimony of the racism he faced in cricket – which included having alcohol forced down his throat as a teenager – also opened people’s eyes to the normalisation of Islamophobia.

And as last year came to a close and a new year gets underway, the Nationality and Borders bill, which is set to give powers to revoke British citizenship (as in the case of Shamima Begum), is making its progress through parliament, leaving dual-nationals and Muslims in precarious situations.

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