7 Things YOU Can Do To Help Stop Islamophobia
1) Lobby the media: If you see negative, inflammatory and biased media coverage against Muslims then don’t just shout at the TV – make a complaint! Equally make sure you encourage the media to show Islam fairly by thanking them for positive programmes and articles or even suggesting ideas for programmes.
BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, Press Complaints Commission
See also MPACUK’s Media Jihad guide.
Engage with the media. Comment online, call, text or email in with your opinion particularly when requested. Also write letters for publication to newspapers and vote in media opinion polls. If they are running a debate after the programme and give you the website details, participate in those debates. Always ensure the Muslim perspective is represented. If you will not speak up, who will on your behalf?
2) Lobby your MP: write to your local MP about issues you care about, or better still arrange a meeting with them. Don’t forget you can also contact your local councillor and MEP, and write to government ministers and the PM directly. They work for you!
3) Join a political party: As a member you can vote to select candidates before they become MPs and you have opportunities to influence party policy. Membership doesn’t mean you have to agree with everything the leader says but it does give you the chance to change things for the better. Don’t just complain from the sidelines, become a decision maker within the parties of power and make sure Muslim voices are heard. Join online now: Labour, Conservatives, Liberal Democrats.
4) Speak to non-Muslim friends and colleagues about Islam and Muslim issues, not necessarily to ‘convert them’ but to clear their misconceptions. Explain to them the Muslim perspective; expose the double-standards at work. Use social networking, online forums, etc.
5) Make a difference through your career. Why not join one of the many influential professions where Muslims are under-represented? Media, politics, the civil service, local government, academia, law, the corporate world, the police, and so on... Encourage young Muslims to consider these options. Push to gain positions of influence in your careers so you can help stand up for justice. And get active in your professional body/ trade union or get involved in student politics
6) If you are a victim of a hate crime, report it to the Police. Even if they cannot prosecute those responsible at least there will be a record of increasing Islamophobia. The Police can then be pressured into tackling Islamophobia more effectively, but they need to be aware of the problem to begin with. That starts with you. For example in London the non-emergency number is 0300 123 1212. You can also report minor crimes online at www.met.police.uk and follow the link for report a crime online. You can find your local number online, but always dial 999 for an emergency.
7) Spread the Message! One person’s e-mail, or complaint by itself may not achieve the desired result. Ask your mosque and Muslim organisations to get involved in campaigning against Islamophobia and to activate their congregations and membership. Keep persevering until you succeed in your aim and objective!