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Amal in Muslim Charities Forum Report Bridges of Hope

18 July 2022

Amal features in Muslim Charities Forum report on the Social Action of British Muslim Charities

 

On 4 July the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on British Muslims hosted the launch of Muslim Charities Forum’s (MCF) report Bridges of Hope celebrating the social action of British Muslim charities in the UK.  The report documents their impressive track record of supporting local communities, their diversity in terms of the different people they serve and the different work they do, and notes this amazing work across the UK may not make it to mainstream media outlets.

Amal’s purpose is referenced in the report – “to shift the dominant narrative on Muslims in the UK from one that is negative, monolithic and stereotypical to one that is confident, diverse and just.”

Our purpose matters because the dominant narrative adversely affects the lives of all Muslims and stands as a barrier to the wider community’s understanding of Muslims and to Muslims’ sense of belonging in the UK.

Muslims are the largest minority in the UK, 5% of the population already at the 2011 census, and growing rapidly.

Collectively, Muslim communities are in the worst socio-economic position in the UK.

The British public feels much more negatively towards Muslims than it does towards any other group except Gypsy and Irish Travellers.

As the APPG on British Muslims’ report on a definition of Islamophobia states: “Across policy domains, from employment, education and criminal justice to housing, healthcare and hate crime, Islamophobia has a significant negative impact on the life chances and quality of life enjoyed by British Muslims.”

If British Muslims are to thrive, it will not be enough to provide for better education, employment and health outcomes.  A root cause of discrimination against Muslims – the dominant negative narrative – must be changed, to one that is confident, diverse and just.

Amal helps shift the narrative by providing support and resources for creative work that is unlikely to happen otherwise – because Muslims and Muslim organisations have been deterred from creative engagement by multiple barriers including deprivation, there is little understanding of the practice of Muslim artists in the mainstream and little action geared towards tackling Islamophobia, and mainstream arts and cultural organisations have few connections to Muslim artists and community groups. The result of our work is that more Muslims engage in creative activity, more Muslim organisations offer creative activities to their communities, Muslim artists have more opportunities to sustain successful careers and more arts organisations serve Muslim communities and artists in a less tokenised and more meaningful way.  These outcomes result over time in a greater diversity of Muslim stories being told and heard, increased visibility for Muslims in the creative sectors and richer encounters between Muslims and others.

We applaud MCF for highlighting the often untold story of the significant contributions Muslim organisations make to British society and hope this story will gain wider recognition.

To learn how you can support the vital work we are doing in Bradford and Birmingham, please email us on: hello@amal.org

I’m a refugee, get over it!

Amal recently supported a T-shirt printing workshop led by artist Mussarat Rahman for newly arrived Afghan families in Bradford.

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