Detroit Evening Report: March 15 marks International Day to Combat Islamophobia

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Women wearing hijab headdress sitting on a bench.

The United Nations is recognizing March 15 as the International Day to Combat Islamophobia. Islamophobia, which is the fear of Islam and Muslims, can lead to bullying, violence, mass surveillance of Muslims and harmful policies.

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Petra Alsoofy is the Outreach & Partnerships Manager at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU), a research organization focusing on American Muslims. She says systematic Islamophobia impacts everyone.

“Islamophobia does not only impact American Muslims…but it impacts those who are perceived to be Muslims, whether by name or appearance, and it’s harmful to our democracy,” says Alsoofy. “There is a direct connection through our research and other people’s research that show that those who do support Islamophobic tropes, Islamophobic practices, also support suspending our checks and balances, the freedom of the press, and a lot of other things that are in direct contradiction to our democracy.”

Earlier this week, ISPU published a report entitled “Banking While Muslim” about institutionalized Islamophobia with the latest findings from the 2022 American Muslim Poll. The report found that Muslims are the most likely faith-based group to report challenges with financial institutions.

Other headlines for March 15, 2023:

  • Detroit public schools see 2,000 fewer students compared to pre-COVID
  • Muslim Center of Detroit co-founder Imam Abdullah Bey El-Amin has died

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  • Nargis Rahman
    Nargis Hakim Rahman is the Civic Reporter at 101.9 WDET. Rahman graduated from Wayne State University, where she was a part of the Journalism Institute of Media Diversity.