Opposing Islamophobia and celebrating multiculturalism were the themes of a convention that took place on Saturday 15th October at the TUC centre in London. The event co-organised by Unite Against Fascism and One Society Many Cultures featured a stimulating panel of guests from Myriam Francois Cerrah, Robert Lambert, Peter Oborne to Dr Abdul Bari and Farooq Murad of the MCB.
The day opened with a panel discussion on responding to the far right in Europe, with particular reference to Norway before breaking up for a variety of smaller workshops. Topics were well chosen and included religious bans, the government’s Prevent strategy and institutional racism. Afternoon workshops looked at the truth about immigration, student racism and how Muslim communities are working to combat Islamophobia. Prominent themes of anger against government policy and the continuing wealth divide emerged. There was much discussion over the association between economic crisis and discrimination. Immigrants were recognised as having brought so much to British society in the past.
It was pleasing to see stalls that included the campaign for Babar Ahmad, commemorating National Holocaust day and there was even a book stall selling a range of relevant titles. Of note was the high attendance by Non-Muslims including black, white, jewish and asian groups. Indeed the Muslim community would benefit greatly from forging greater alliances with those who have known discrimination in the past.