LONDON UK, Thursday 26th November 2020 – The East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre hosted digital event as part of its Virtual Roundtable Series titled ‘Global Islamophobia: Roots, Context and Deconstruction. The event featured key academics, leaders and influencers who approached the topic from various angles during the two hour discussion over ZOOM.

The chairman of the East London Mosque Trust, Muhammad Habibur Rahman opened the event with an introduction to the East London Mosque as well as talking about the long history of the Mosque in combatting Islamophobia and racism.

What followed was a series of short talks by the diverse and engaging speakers:

The first speaker was Dr Narzanin Massoumi, who is a lecturer and a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the Sociology, Philosophy and Anthropology department at Exeter University. She is also Co-editor of the publication What is Islamophobia? Racism, Social Movements and the State, and author of Muslim Women, Social Movements and the ‘War on Terror. Dr Narzanin spoke at length about the Government’s counter-terrorism policy and its role in producing Islamophobia. 

This was then followed by a timely talk by Prof Ron Geaves, Honorary Visiting Professor at the Centre for the Study of Islam in the UK at Cardiff University; formerly a professor of comparative religion at Liverpool Hope University. He is also the author of Islam and Britain: Muslim Missions in an Age of Empire, and Islam in Victorian Britain: The Life and Times of Abdullah Quilliam.  His topic focused on Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred amongst early British Muslims in Victorian times.

Next up was Marwan Muhammad, former spokesman and director of the Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF) and a French-Egyptian author and statistician, who was also a diplomat for the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe and currently works as an international human rights consultant. He specifically discussed France’s Islamophobia and Austria’s call for ban on Political Islam and what the implications are for European Muslims.

The last speaker before the Q&A discussion was Linda Hyokki who is the General Secretary of European Forum of Muslim Women (EFOMW). She is also a PhD candidate in Civilization Studies at Ibn Haldun University in Turkey, where she is researching Islamophobia and convert Muslims in Finland. She approached Islamophobia from the angle of its impact on Muslim women in Europe.

After a Q&A and discussion between panellists, the event came to a close with final remarks from Habibur Rahman.