The Network, since 2016 has recognised the detrimental effect ‘Gendered Islamophobia’ is having upon Muslim women of Nottingham. Our collaborative work with the East Midlands Crown Prosecution Service and Police Crime Commissioner Hate Crime board has helped us identify some of the ways ‘Gendered Islamophobia’ impacts on the day to day life of ordinary Muslim women living in Nottingham. Gendered Islamophobia for Muslim women often translates itself into violence against Muslim women because of their visible Muslim identities.
“Muslims, particularly those with a ‘visible’ Muslim identity, are more vulnerable to anti-Muslim hostility, intimidation, abuse and threats of violence”
(Tell Mama, ‘We Fear for Our Lives Report’ (October 2015).
In response to this, the Network brought together a group of Muslim women who designed a leaflet that helped reporting of hate crimes. The project also delivered workshops across Nottingham City with the aim of raising awareness of hate crimes and the importance of reporting them.
This project was funded by the Police Crime Commissioner. Leaflets are available in Arabic and Urdu.
In 2018, NMWN partnered with Communities Inc (lead organisation) to increase awareness and reporting of hate crime, to ensure that victims of hate crime are better supported and, in the longer term, to change the social norms of what is perceived as acceptable or unacceptable behaviour. Stand By Me harnesses the power of the bystanders of hate crime to enable them to respond appropriately. Through NMWN’s involvement, the project was able to specifically address the issue of ‘Gendered Islamophobia’ which manifests as hostility, intimidation, abuse, treats of violence and actual violence towards Muslim women whose identities are visible because of their dress.
In 2023, Zaynab Asghar, Manager and the coordinator of the Community Activism Programme, has been speaking about the important role of restorative justice in bringing communities together to diffuse community tensions that come about due to international terrorism and the media demonising Islam and Muslims.
This interview was given as a part of the Why Me – Transforming lives through restorative justice. Website: www.why-me.org