Muslim women in Poland – what life is like?

ONLINE Social EVENT- 21 September 2020

On the occasion of the International Day of Peace, the Polish Migration Forum organized the first social event on the everyday reality of life of a Muslim woman in Poland. It was run in form of a live transmission of a discussion of two Muslim women: Khedi Alieva and Kamila Dudkiewicz, moderated by Karol Wilczynski, author of Islamistablog.

Khedi Alieva is a refugee from Chechnya. She is a social activist and one of the leaders of “Kobiety Wędrowne” Foundation (“Women on the move”), which is working towards integration of migrant women in Poland. Kamila Dudkiewicz is a blogger, a Muslim of Polish origin, very active in the Muslim community in the city of Krakow. She runs a blog “Muslim in Poland”.

Khedi Alieva pointed out that real life of Muslims and the media picture of Muslim community are two different realities. She admitted to have faced many cases of discrimination because of her dress – which was a reason that she prefers her young daughters not to war hijab. Khedi says the key to understanding between people is a “contact, a meeting, a conversation“. Because the Muslims in Poland are not so many, the media coverage of Muslims is very important:

when personal contact between people is impossible, it is the media that form our thinking about other groups.!”

Kamila Dudkiewicz noted that she is often accused of not being Polish (even though she is!) – because of her dress and religion. She talked about a conflict of identities, when she is not considered not fully Muslim, as she is a Polish woman, but also not fully a Pole – being a Muslim.

Karol Wilczyński, the moderator, referred to his own experience – that every month he receives information about racist attacks, and often the victims of those attacks are Muslim women.

Giving a tip to other Muslim women and other people who face a hate-speech incident, Kamila suggested that just reacting, saying something, not being indifferent is important!!!

The live was watched by 92 persons (top value) in the real time, and was opened 4300 times over the next week. It reached 11300 FB users and the discussion received 400 reactions, questions and comments.