Islam Awareness Week
We initiated national Islam Awareness Week in 1994, to raise awareness and remove misconceptions surrounding Britain’s second largest faith group.
Sadly, since then we have seen both genuine misunderstanding and the unfair misrepresentation of Islam and Muslims increase sharply in society. We believe that this must be tackled, both within wider society and amongst Muslims themselves, if we are to see the progressive development of a Britain at ease with its diversity. IAW is an opportunity for all of us, to come together and address the threats posed by misunderstanding.
During the week, communities throughout the country volunteer their time to organise a range of events aimed at opening dialogue, developing contact and celebrating art and culture.
With thousands of events having taken place over the years, we believe IAW has been influential, and made an important contribution to community relations.
In 2014 Islam Awareness Week is 21 years old. The theme for 2014 is CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME. To find out more, click on the thing that makes you smile…
What happens during IAW?
During IAW communities throughout the country will be organising a range of activities and events aimed at opening dialogues about their way of life, developing contact with individuals and institutions, promoting social interaction and celebrating art and culture. Thousands of events have taken place over the years, they have all had an impact within communities. We believe IAW has already made a significant and historic contribution to community relations since its inception in 1994.
How does it do this?
With a national team of volunteers the theme is arrived at through consultation, we then seek to work in partnership as much as possible with others. Nationally we encourage and support local activities and provide resources to supplement events. Our website highlights activities undertaken and provides useful ideas.
We also encourage schools to get involved by offering a range of resources. These include a specialist webpage for schools (http://www.isb.org.uk/schools), a teaching resource pack, leaflets and volunteers who are available on request to conduct specially commissioned classroom presentations.
Who takes part?
IAW has received high profile support from politicians and celebrities with the bulk of the work carried out by volunteers who organise dinners, coffee mornings, lectures, concerts, mosque open days, tree planting, inter faith events, community volunteering and film shows – to name a few. IAW aims to create a better awareness of Islam in our society by involving everyone throughout Britain, irrespective of creed to come forward and join hands in practical efforts to build bridges within communities. These volunteers are the back bone of IAW. The excellent work done by them was acknowledged in 2005 when IAW received an award for Excellence in community relations from the Muslim News Awards.
Why not get involved? There are many things that you can do wherever you are, just take a look at the Resources section on our website. So, however you can contribute, whether it’s by finding out what is happening locally and supporting it, or setting up your own Islam Awareness Week event it all helps to make a difference!
Previous year’s themes were:
2013 – The things we have in common
2012 – Love
2011 – Connecting people: online and offline
2010 – Our common humanity
2009 – Living together in a multi-faith society
2008 – Celebrating the best of Britain
2007 – One World – Our children, our future
2006 – One World – The myth of the clash
2005 – Past and present: 1000 years of Islam in Britain
2004 – Neighbours
2003 – Our Common Heritage – Muslim contribution to civilisation
2002 – Fasting to remember
2001 – Standing up for peace and justice
2000 – Fighting prejudice