Sometimes a shadow does not reflect correctly the object or the person from which it comes, looking only at the wall we see a larger, smaller, distorted figure, certainly we cannot see the colours, or the single parts it is composed of.
When we don’t have complete and accurate information about that person, he/she could totally lose interest for us, or he/she could scare us.
Out of metaphor, what do we know about the Muslim women and girls who live in our country, who are our schoolmates, our university friends, our colleagues at work, the mothers of our children’s classmates, or even all those women with whom we have no direct contact, but who we meet on public transport, in the streets, in the city?
In Europe, Muslims are a minority, and among them, all too often women are victims of multiple discrimination, which, in addition to causing harm to these people, does not allow for integration between different cultures at all.
It is totally wrong to identify Muslim people only as migrants and asylum seekers, there are large communities, rooted in most European countries, which are fully part of our societies.
The superficial and distorted image that is conveyed by both political rhetoric and social media is not conducive to mutual knowledge of cultures, traditions, needs and resources.
PROJECT FOCUS GROUP TO ENQUIRE ON DISCRIMINATION AND WRONG PERCEPTIONS
The MEET project in these first months of activity has implemented and will continue to implement focus groups (which are currently suspended due to the COVID19 Emergency) to collect information and data, which is the basic starting point, to deepen the knowledge of Islamophobia towards Muslim women.
In each country where the project is active, two different meetings will be held, one in which women of Muslim religion will participate, another one in which women and men of another religion or not belonging to any religion will be involved.
Focus groups are held to enquire on the level of discrimination suffered by Muslims and the perception of Muslim girls and women in mainstream culture.
Main areas of investigation:
- Views and opinions of Muslim women and girls on Islamophobia and discrimination, with a focus particularly on: discrimination at school/ discrimination at work/ discrimination among civil society
- Stereotypes linked with Muslim women and girls and brainstorming on how to deconstruct it
This activity will be extremely important for the Project because it will provide us with detailed information on the one hand on the perception of the problem by those who do not suffer from it, and on the other hand on the direct experiences of those who experience Islamophobic discriminatory attacks.
In the coming months, by collecting the results of the focus groups we will be able to have a clearer picture of the problem and possible solutions to promote greater knowledge and a meeting between different cultures.