I am passionate about
ActionsIn 2015, just right after the terror attack on Charlie Hebdo we started with
our grassroots initiative Meld Islamofobie (Report Islamophobia). Based on
our own experience after 9/11, we foresaw a backlash against citizens with an
allegedly Islamic background and thus a rise of islamophobic attacks.
However, at that moment there wasn’t any organization collecting
systematically data about islamophobia. So, one of our main goals is to
monitor islamophobia in the Netherlands: how does islamophobia manifests
itself in the Netherlands? What kind of patterns and trends do we see?
We were also concerned about the normalization and acceptance of islamophobia
in the Netherlands. For example: the majority of victims of islamophobia
doesn’t report. To raise awareness and combat this normalization, we
launched our Facebook page
(https://www.facebook.com/MeldpuntIslamofobie/?ref=br_rs) where we shared the
stories of victims and gave citizens a platform where they can raise their
voice. After three years, we have about 11.500 followers.
With our work we want gain more critical knowledge about islamophobia that is
systematically analysed. We take the position that critical knowledge is the
key to campaign successfully against islamophobia and mobilize people.
Based on our collected data, we published in 2016 our first report which
contributed to more knowledge about this topic. For example: we were the
first in the Netherlands showing the gender dimension of islamophobia: mainly
women are the victims and the perpetrators are mainly white males. Our first
report had impact, because several prominent Dutch research institutes
referred to it.
Meld Islamofobie is becoming a leading and prominent voice in the
Netherlands. Our network of relevant stakeholders and allies is expanding. We
often are invited by organizations (e.g. Amnesty International, ENAR) to
speak on stages, to participate in panel discussions and expert meetings, on
both national and international level.