MEND (Muslim Engagement & Development) is a not for profit company working towards enhancing the active engagement of British Muslim communities in our national life, particularly in the fields of politics and the media.
MEND aims to achieve this by:
- Running seminars for Muslims on how to engage productively with the media and politics
- Training Muslims to effectively respond to derogatory and inflammatory news stories through providing media resources and training
- Organizing forums for journalists to interact with local Muslim communities ensuring greater access to the Muslim grass roots
- Working with other Muslim and non-Muslim organizations to ensure Islamophobia is regarded as socially unacceptable as anti-Semitism and other forms of racism and xenophobia. We concur with the definition of Islamophobia contained in the OSI report, ‘Muslims in Europe- A report on 11 EU Cities’, that Islamophobia constitutes the “Irrational hostility, fear and hatred of Islam, Muslims and Islamic culture, and active discrimination towards this group as individuals or collectively”.
- Highlighting the work of journalists and other public figures that undermine social cohesion in Britain and foment anti-Muslim prejudice
- Encouraging voter registration and civic participation in British Muslim communities
British Muslims have remained on the margins of public and political debate about their religion and place in modern Britain for too long and the level of Muslim participation in media and politics remains woefully low. MEND seeks to enable British Muslims to engage more effectively with political and media institutions and play a greater role in British politics and society by instilling confidence, competence and awareness. Enhancing mainstream participation by communities that are under-represented and vulnerable is an important step towards deepening and strengthening our democracy.
At Mend, we are dedicated to creating and supporting an environment in which British Muslims can confidently and critically engage in media and politics.
Our research interests focus on representations of Islam and Muslims in the media, Muslim engagement in politics and anti-Muslim hate crime in the UK for the purposes of contributing evidence-based analysis to policy debates advancing equality and anti-discrimination on grounds of race and/or religion.
We produce annual reports on anti-Muslim hate crime in the UK and changes in the policy and discourse environment to improve the policy, legislative, social and criminal justice responses to hate speech and hate crimes targeting Muslims.
We analyze media output to document representations of Islam and Muslims that are biased, distorted or gross misrepresentations. We use this data to inform our advocacy work in improving press standards in coverage of religion generally and Islam in particular, and in our community engagement work on wider religious literacy and understanding.
Mend is a ‘think-do tank’ – we use our research output to enhance our training programs and capacity building workshops for British Muslims and to better inform our advocacy.
Media representations of Islam and Muslims
Conducting quantitative and qualitative research on media representations of Islam and Muslims is vital to dissecting bias, perceived or real, and developing policies to improve media reporting on Muslims.
Anti-Muslim hate crime
Documenting anti-Muslim hate crime and compiling statistics on trends in Islamophobic hate crime forms part of our body of work on challenging Islamophobia. Our data on hate crime; physical, verbal and virtual, is submitted annually to the Office for Security and Co-operation in Europe. By analyzing trends in anti-Muslim hate crime, we can work better with the relevant agencies to tackle it.
Muslims and political engagement
Muslims, like other minorities, are a growing section of the UK population and the younger profile of the Muslim community means many more first time voters in years to come. Understanding how Muslims engage in formal and informal politics is part of our work on improving Muslim participation in politics at all levels.
MEND will be showcasing a 24 panel exhibition highlighting the problem of Islamophobia and its consequences.
MEND in partnership with The Ark and Planet Mercy wish to invite to an informative event highlighting the issue of Islamophobia, root causes and solutions.