In 2010 the Exploring Islam Foundation commissioned YouGov to survey public perceptions of Islam,
• 50% associate Islam with terrorism
• 13% associate Islam with peace and 6% with justice
• 16% think that Islam promotes fairness and equality
• 41% disagree or strongly disagree that Muslims have a positive impact on British society
• 69% believe that Islam encourages the repression of women.
Many organisations are trying to challenge these misconceptions by raising awareness of the belief, practice, history and cultures of Islam, and highlighting the contribution of Muslims to society.
RISC has created a portal for teachers and facilitators who want to challenge Islamophobia. The materials are suitable for Key Stage 3-4+ as well as youth and community groups.
It brings together resources that offer innovative and creative approaches for dealing with controversial issues that will engage young people. It shows how every area of the curriculum offers possibilities to explore alternative perspectives on the role of Islam in Britain and the wider world.
I increasingly feel that ignorance of both Muslim culture and the faith of Islam is in danger of radicalising many sections of society. Ignorance is reinforced by a general lack of interaction between mono-ethnic communities that often results in many children growing up in parallel societies. Prejudice, rather than informed understanding, is then shaping many attitudes.
Muhammad Imran, Islamic Relief
The Understanding Islam:Challenging Islamophobia project has received funding from the European Union's , although the views expressed within do not necessarily reflect its official policy.