On the 28th July 2016, Forward Thinking attended the ‘Muslims and Brexit: What Next?’ conference, hosted by the Muslim Association of Britain, at the School of Oriental and African Studies. Panelists included academics, political analysts, media figures, legal experts and youth leaders.
The conference explored the political and policy landscape prior to the referendum result to leave the European Union and the challenges of the engagement of Muslim communities within civic and public life. Conversations then explored Brexit’s immediate impact, the rise in divisive narratives of intolerance, levels of xenophobia, racism and anti-immigration sentiment post-Brexit.
Potential ways forward and long term responses to address the marginalisation of Britain’s diverse Muslim communities were also discussed. Panelists noted that, present difficulties notwithstanding, there are some very effective and positive community and civic initiatives which continue apace. However it is paramount to improve the skills and confidence of communities to enable them to engage with forthcoming changes that will redefine Britain’s internal policy, legislative and institutional relationships, in addition to its relationships with Europe and the rest of the world.