One in 3 Muslim students have experienced Islamophobic abuse, while female students who wore religious garments, such as the hijab, jilbab and niqaab, showed higher levels of concern about their safety, according to a National Union of Students (NUS) report released today. The Muslim Student’s survey was launched in November 2017 by the NUS Women’s campaign, the NUS Black Students’ campaign and Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS).
This report is particularly timely as “Punish a Muslim Day” flyers have been distributed across the country, encouraging disgusting forms of violence against Muslims, with four Muslim Members of Parliament also receiving the flyer in suspect packages.
The report also found a third of respondents felt they had been negatively affected by Prevent – the government’s counter-terrorism strategy – stating that they had been reported, had events cancelled, and felt less able to participate in political debate for fear of being reported to the Prevent authorities.
The Prevent agenda has drawn criticism from many since it was first rolled out, as it implicitly and sometimes explicitly stipulates that educational institutions should identify and report students who are suspected of being vulnerable to radicalisation. This has been shown to disproportionately impact Muslim students, often wrongly accusing them of being extremists for making statements on various political issues, often leaving long-lasting and irreparable damage.
Speaking on behalf of MAB, Mustafa Al-Dabbagh said: “This report illustrates what most Muslim students already knew and have been long saying; Islamophobia is real and has a significant impact on people and communities. We hope the publishing of this report will create a space where Universities take the issues at hand seriously and work to help Muslim students create an overall healthier and more positive environment. It is important that all Muslim students understand the implications of the statistics published in this report and work within their universities to make a meaningful change for the betterment of all.”
MAB wishes to acknowledge the tremendous efforts by the NUS Women’s Officer Hareem Ghani and NUS Black Student’s Officer Ilyas Nagdee along with the effort of FOSIS in producing this report and the comprehensive survey it is based upon. It will undoubtedly go far in creating a change for the better for many within the educational system.
The full report can be read here:
Muslim Association of Britain
19th March 2018