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Islamophobia 2018 - Scottish Conference

Islamophobia and Silencing Criticism of Israel
Sat 15 Dec 2018 11:00am to 5:00pm
Quaker Meeting House
7 Victoria Street

This year's theme is "Islamophobia and Silencing Criticism of Israel".

Speakers include Sofiah MacLeod (Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign), Omar Afzal (Muslim Council of Scotland), Sarah Glynn (Scottish Jews Against Zionism), Arzu Merali (Islamic Human Rights Commission), Sai Englert (researcher, SOAS), Mohammed Dean (Friends of Al Aqsa - Edinburgh), David Jamieson (CommonSpace journalist) and Wael Shawish (Scottish Palestinian Society, formerly the Association of Palestinian Communities in Scotland).

Register on the door from 11am

Misleading allegations of anti-semitism are being used to suppress criticism of Israel. This tactic has been institutionalised through the adoption of the IHRA definition of anti-semitism by the UK and Scottish governments. At the same time, real and deadly anti-semitism is being promoted by far-right movements alongside Islamophobia.

Educational resources on Israel-Palestine for Scottish schools have been removed following pressure on the Scottish government by pro-Israel lobbyists.

Around the world, responses to political struggle in Israel-Palestine continue to be tainted by Islamophobia. Palestinian resistance to colonialism is too often seen as fundamentally extremist and regressive. Israel's use of force to impose colonial policies is too often seen as, at worst, flawed conduct by a liberal democracy.

Given the racist nature of Zionism, the marriage between the far-right and Zionist activists was inevitable. Pro-Israel advocates see an overlap between their hatred of the Arabs whom they wish to displace in Palestine with the far-right’s hatred of Muslims. It is why you see EDL members attend pro-Israel events to deny the right of Palestinian self-determination and why you can see Zionist Federation placards flown at events where far-right racists shout "Allah is a Peado" and "Muslims rape our children".

Our conference aims to discuss these tendencies and ways that we can counter them to build opposition to racism and colonialism and stand in solidarity with oppressed peoples.


11.00 - 11.30 Registration

11.30 - 13.00 Workshops

Round table discussions on Islamophobia and Silencing Criticism of Israel. Open to all registered conference attendees and speakers.

13.00 - 13.30 Lunch Break

A light lunch will be provided.

13.30 - 15.00 Plenary 1 - Nexus

Relationships between Islamophobia, anti-semitism, far-right movements and Zionism. 

Speakers: Sai Englert, David Jamieson, Arzu Merali, Sarah Glynn.

15.00 - 15.15 Tea Break

15.15 - 17:00 Plenary 2 - Palestine in the Cross-Hairs

How colonialism, Islamophobia and false allegations of anti-semitism threaten solidarity with Palestine, and how we can fight back.

Speakers: Omar Afzal, Mohammed Dean, Sofiah MacLeod, Wael Shawish.

Attending the Conference

Suggested contributions for attendees: £10 standard, £5 low-waged, £3  students/unwaged. Free for asylum seekers and children under 18. Any financial contribution you make is appreciated. But everyone is welcome, whether able to contribute or not. You can register on the door from 11am, but online registration (below) is strongly recommended.

Register on the door from 11am

Suggested contributions are £10 standard, £5 low income or £3 student/unwaged. Free for asylum-seekers and children under 18. These are just suggestions. No one will be turned away if they contribute less or don't contribute at all.

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Islamophobia and Silencing Criticism of Israel
Islamophobia and Silencing Criticism of Israel

Flyer (download, print and distribute).

The conference is being held in association with a conference in London on the same theme on Saturday 8 December.

Organised by SACC and Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC). We have jointly organised an annual December Islamophobia Conference for the last four years. For the last 3 years we have held a conference in Edinburgh as part of a constellation of conferences held in London and elsewhere across Europe.