The Aziz Foundation promotes International Day to Combat Islamophobia introduced by the UN
Image by NOAM GALAI/WIREIMAGE
The Aziz Foundation has recently launched a major campaign to enshrine the International Day to Combat Islamophobia – March 15 – into UK law.
According to the United Nations (UN), the International Day to Combat Islamophobia seeks to expand efforts to create a dialogue that promotes tolerance and respect for all religions and beliefs.
The date was chosen to commemorate the 2019 Christchurch mosque shootings, in which 51 people were killed and 40 others injured in an Islamophobic attack.
By enshrining the Day in law, the Aziz Foundation hopes to encourage the Government to make more resources available to teach understanding and religious tolerance and to celebrate the enormous contribution the British Muslim community brings to the UK.
The campaign has already begun to reach out to other faith bodies. Between 2021 and 2022, religious hate crimes in the UK increased by 37% to 8,730 offences.
Over two in five (42%) of these were targeted against Muslims. Asif Aziz, the Founder of The Aziz Foundation, said, “Islamophobia is a type of racism. That should be an obvious thing to understand but to many it isn’t.
The UN resolution in 2022 was the first welcome step, but to root out religious intolerance in all its forms we need to educate our children that Islamophobia cannot be allowed to grow unchallenged.
Having the government acknowledging the UN day will allow us to begin peeling back the layers of misunderstanding and mistrust that have built up over the years, so we can teach our children not only to be respectful of each other, but to celebrate our differences.”
MP Naz Shah said, “I am fully supportive of this hugely important campaign, and I look forward to working with the Foundation and my parliamentary colleagues from across the House to achieve this goal.
Greater understanding and tolerance are the cornerstones of a truly multicultural society, and I am pleased to be supporting the Aziz Foundation in achieving this.”
The Aziz Foundation was set up as a family foundation in 2015 by the Aziz family. Through their scholarships programme and other initiatives, the organisation aims to increase access to postgraduate education and opportunity for British Muslims in the country.