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SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, WC1H 0XG London, United Kingdom
SOAS, Room B111 (Brunei) 7pm — 9pm
In light of the recent ruling passed by the top EU law court allowing employers to ban the hijab from the workplace and in solidarity with the organization Collectif Contre L’Islamophobie en Belgique (the Collective Against Islamophobia in Belgium) campaigning to ensure access to higher education for muslim women, the SOAS Ahlulbayt Society and the SOAS FemSoc are hosting an urgent discussion on GENDER BASED ISLAMAPHOBIA.
The campaign was launched by the Collectif Contre L’Islamophobie en Belgique to support, protect and empower muslim women and allies in the fight against gender based islamophobia in higher education. This year, several universities across Belgium unilaterally and unlawfully attempted to enforce a hijab-ban in their institutions. The ban on ‘religious symbols’ disproportionally affects muslim women and structurally prevents them from entering, continuing and achieving in university spaces. In the University of Liege, 13 veiled muslim students won a legal battle against their university to revert the hijab-ban. However, they are now facing expensive legal fees, having to independently catch up on missed classes, and battling against an increasingly hostile, racist, discriminatory, and islamopbobic university environment.
OUR AMAZING SPEAKERS!!!
We will hear from Kawthar Omary: Student’s Union representative at the University of Liege and one of the 13 women leading the legal campaign against the hijab-ban; and from Leyla Azzouzi: member of Collectif Contre L’Islamophobie en Belgique and campaigner and organizer for #OpenSchool4Women.
— FIGHTING ISLAMOPHOBIA ACROSS EUROPE
In discussing Brexit, Theresa May and Trump, we think of the increase in islamophobia, racism and xenophobia as a ‘sudden’ surge propelled by ultra-conservative politics. However, European countries—with France and Belgium in the lead—have been socially institutionalizing and politically enshrining violence against women for over a decade at a national and now international level. In this event, we aim to discuss how gendered islamophobia is not limited to the spaces targeted by legislation--such as the hijab-bans in higher education and the workplace--but that these laws promote gendered violence that increasingly permeates the social, political and economic lives of veiled women.
The purpose of this initiative is thus three fold: 1) to raise awareness on gender based islamophobia and the particular experiences of visibly muslim women; 2) to engage in active solidarity with groups fighting against islamophobia to generate campaigns and partnerships across Europe; and 3) launch a fundraising campaign to help support the 13 muslim hijabi students at the University of Liege in raising the money for their legal fees.
Join the Ahlulbayt Society and the SOAS FemSoc to learn about #OpenSchool4Women and the fight to ensure access to higher education for muslim women in Belgium.
*****************In support of #OpenSchool4Women there will be a stall in SOAS JCR on Monday 20th of March (the day before the event) where you can write messages of solidarity with those fighting against the hijab-ban in universities! ****************************