From Mecca to Musselburgh – Islam in the Scottish Context

Amina – Muslim Women’s Resource Centre (MWRC) releases an online Scotland wide Secondary School toolkit for teachers and educational practitioners of religious education (R.E.).

It challenges stereotypes and misconceptions of Muslim women and communities. The toolkit was developed in collaboration with the Al Waleed Centre, University of Edinburgh, as part of Islamophobia Awareness month.

Over the last 7 years Amina staff and volunteers have delivered interactive workshops at secondary schools to counteract negative stereotyping of Muslim women. This has increased understanding of Muslim communities, particularly where anti-Muslim sentiment is on the rise and is gendered.

According to Tell MAMA, a record number of anti-Muslim incidents of abuse were reported last year. Women were disproportionately targeted by mostly male teenage perpetrators.

Scotland Against Criminalising Communities (SACC) supported research of Muslim school students’ experiences of Islamophobia in Edinburgh schools.  The research found that 55% of high school respondents said that they had encountered verbal Islamophobia. 35% had experienced it personally.

Mahrukh Shaukat, Development Officer and lead author of the toolkit stated, We’re sharing our voices where it counts. When young people have an opportunity to challenge their own ideas we see progress in society”.

Tom Lea, Outreach officer The Al Waleed Centre, “We hope the toolkit represents a useful addition to the many resources which teachers already use to teach about Islam, and we encourage teachers to use the toolkit in their own way to supplement their own teaching.”

Resources in the toolkit include short videos to simulate Amina’s current work in schools. Staff and volunteers at AMINA share their experiences of relevant topics to add voices to debates in the classroom.

Scott Anderson, RME teacher at Duncanrig Secondary shared, “The volunteers from Amina have helped massively to normalise and demystify Islam for our pupils.  Our work together benefits the pupils and the Muslim community in that Muslims are seen less as an “other” and more as an integral part of twenty-first century Scottish life.”

Download the toolkit at: https://mwrc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Mecca-to-Musselburgh_260918_1.pdf

 



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