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Home  »   Member NetworksBAMELatest News   »   PDA BAME Network launches Islamophobia Factsheet

PDA BAME Network launches Islamophobia Factsheet

November is Islamophobia Awareness Month and to end the month the PDA BAME Network has launched a factsheet that provides an overview of Islamophobia in the workplace. The factsheet can also help pharmacists, trainees and students understand the impact of Islamophobia and help them lead conversations in the workplace on this issue.

Thu 30th November 2023 The PDA

Islamophobia is a fear or prejudice towards the Islamic faith, Muslims, and those who share characteristics associated with Islam leading to discrimination, marginalisation, and victimisation of these individuals. This perceived fear can perpetuate negative feelings or actions towards Muslims, depriving them of equal human rights and freedoms across social, economic, and cultural spheres. Within the workplace, pharmacist employers and employees hold a crucial role in fostering cultural sensitivity to combat Islamophobia and creating an inclusive environment.

It is important to note that there isn’t a legally binding definition for Islamophobia. Here are some commonly used definitions:

  • The United Nations, “A fear, prejudice and hatred of Muslims or non-Muslim individuals that leads to provocation, hostility and intolerance by means of threatening, harassment, abuse, incitement and intimidation of Muslims and non- Muslims, both in the online and offline world. Motivated by institutional, ideological, political and religious hostility that transcends into structural and cultural racism which targets the symbols and markers of a being a Muslim.”
  • All Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims – UK, “Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.” 
  • Runnymede Trust – UK, “Islamophobia refers to unfounded hostility towards Islam. It refers also to the practical consequences of such hostility in unfair discrimination against Muslim individuals and communities, and to the exclusion of Muslims from mainstream political and social affairs.”

Although there are common themes amongst the various definitions of Islamophobia, the first hurdle to overcome is to have a universal definition of Islamophobia to not leave any room for assumptions and interpretations. This will allow for individuals and organisations to be held to account when they behave in a discriminatory manner against Muslims.

According to a 2021 census from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Muslims make up 6.5% of the overall England and Wales population. Despite making up such a significant number of the overall population, Islamophobia appears to remain a problem. A survey conducted in 2018 by the Equality and Human Rights Commission showed that 70% of people who identify as followers of Islam said they experienced religion-based prejudice in the previous year. Further, data released by the Home Office in March 2020 showed that half of all recorded religious hate crimes were targeted towards Muslims.

Addressing Islamophobia in pharmacy workplaces and more widely is not just a social responsibility or a legal requirement but is relevant to today’s society. Pharmacists serve diverse communities and understanding varying cultural and religious backgrounds is key to ensuring all patients have equitable access to equitable healthcare services. Equally, the healthcare workforce is very diverse and those who identify as Muslims must be treated with dignity and respect to ensure better teamwork, communication, and productivity.

Siddiqur Rahman, PDA Union Regional Committee Member and PDA BAME Network member said, “I’m pleased that the PDA BAME Network has produced this fantastic factsheet to raise awareness of Islamophobia during Islamophobia Awareness Month for all pharmacy colleagues as it includes strategies to counter Islamophobia in the workplace. It is also helpful for current PDA Union members who are Muslim pharmacists and other members to know when to report and contact the PDA for support and guidance if any action suggestive of Islamophobia takes place in Pharmacy from other colleagues or patients.”

Addressing Islamophobia in the workplace demands concerted efforts, from education and policy implementation to data monitoring, fostering an inclusive culture and allyship. Pharmacists, as integral members of the healthcare system, play a vital role in ensuring that workplaces become spaces where cultural differences are respected, celebrated, and leveraged to create a more robust and harmonious environment for all employees.

The PDA encourages all those working in pharmacy to review this factsheet and share it with their colleagues and employer to help raise awareness, combat this issue, and create environments that are inclusive and reflective of the communities they serve.

Downlad the factsheet here

thumbnail of PDA BAME Network’s Islamophobia factsheet

Get involved

  • Share the factsheet with your colleagues and employer.
  • Follow the PDA BAME Network on social media using #PDAbame
  • For more information about the PDA BAME Network, click here.
  • If you would like to get involved with the network and its activities, email bame@the-pda.org
  • Join the PDA BAME Network here.

Learn more

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