Ibtissam Abaaziz

Country representing

Netherlands

Languages

Dutch

Education

  • Erasmus University, Rotterdam
  • MSc.

Current organisation

Stichting Meld Islamofobie

Current role

Researcher

Skills and Expertise

Activism
Data analysis
Project management
Research

Areas of interest

Human Rights
Peace and Conflict

Website & Social Links

I am passionate about

Actions

In 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.