Date and time: Wednesday, August 12, 2020, 6:30 to 7:30 pm British Summer Time (UTC+1)

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A monthly space for honest conversations, reflections and practical support around well being and happiness.

In the second of our two-part Wellbeing Wednesday series on discrimination, we move to discuss the impact of Islamophobia on the mental wellbeing of the Muslim community.

In recent years we have seen increased anti-Muslim rhetoric and hate crimes against Muslims. This is on a backdrop of structural inequalities that already lends its hands to create poorer outcomes in health, education, employment and an over-representation in the prison and social housing system. The current pandemic additionally exposed yet more disparities with an over-representation of deaths in the Muslim community; not only among the general public but the NHS staff too.

There have been claims of an overt Islamophobic political and media agenda fueling even more hate crime, disunity and an identity crisis. What does it mean to live in a modern world where Muslims are demonized under the umbrella of free speech? What does it mean to have ambitions and hopes as a young Muslim but not see yourself represented in those positions? What does it mean to live in a place where Islamophobia is not even acknowledged as a problem?

Join us to hear from our inspirational guest speakers as we tackle these difficult questions. As always, we are looking forward to sharing these conversations and learning with you.

Upon registration, a link will be sent to join the virtual cafe. Please make sure you have access to Zoom.

If you would like to submit questions beforehand, please email [email protected].

Guest speakers:

Dr. Batool Abdulkareem is a General Practitioner and Equality & Diversity Lead of the Muslim Doctors Association. She is a diplomate of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and holds a diploma in child health. She has a keen interest in mental health, evidence-based medicine, and patient advocacy.

She is co-founder and chair of the NHS Religion Equality Advisory Group and MDA representative at the General Medical Council’s BME Forum and Strategic Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Forum. She is an active member of Syria Solidarity UK, a political advocacy group advocating for the protection of civilians in Syria and providing political solidarity for the people of Syria.

Dr. Ahmed Hankir describes himself as a proud British Muslim, a survivor of psychological trauma/torture, mental health campaigner and researcher. He is training to be a Psychiatrist and researcher at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust in the UK. In recognition of his efforts, he received the 2013 Royal College of Psychiatrists Foundation Doctor of the Year award and the 2018 Royal College of Psychiatrists Core Psychiatric Trainee of the Year award.

He is passionate about engaging with the wider community and challenging Islamophobia. In 2017 he served as Chair of Muslim Engagement and Development (MEND) Leeds Working Group, a not-for-profit organization that empowers Muslims to be more actively involved in media and politics. Additionally, he has co-edited with the American Psychiatric Association a textbook on Islamophobia and Psychiatry published by Springer. He has delivered anti-Islamophobia programs in the UK and US and continues to be active in the field.


Dr. Hina J Shahid is a GP working in inner-city London and chair of the Muslim Doctors Association. She qualified as a doctor from University College London with first prize in psychology, sociology and epidemiology and also holds a B.Sc. in pharmacology from UCL and MSc in public health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She is a university tutor at Imperial College Medical School for Personal and Professional Development and is a GP appraiser. Hina has worked extensively on mental health issues in the Muslim community and with a number of charities in the UK and internationally on migrant and refugee health projects. She is currently studying a diploma in Islamic Sciences and is particularly interested in integrating Islamic spirituality with mindfulness and compassion-based approaches to mental health and wellbeing.

Wellbeing Wednesdays is an initiative by the Muslim Doctors Association that aims to provide support for those with lived experience as well as those who are just interested in learning and discussing how to live happier and healthier lives. It is open to people of all backgrounds, faith and no faith. We have moved our cafes to online during the pandemic until further notice.

Please note we will not be able to provide individual medical diagnosis or advice on investigations and treatment. If you have a serious mental health concern please contact your GP.

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