International Muslim History Month returns to shed light on pioneers and sees attendance quadruple
LONDON: An annual initiative that celebrates Muslim achievements throughout history and confronts Islamophobia globally through education has grown significantly in popularity, with social media engagement quadrupling in a year only, organizers said.
International Muslim History Month, which was created by the New York-based World Hijab Day organization in 2021 and runs throughout the month of May, aims to recognize and raise awareness of the pioneering Muslims who helped shape humanity.
The organization told Arab News that the event, which is aimed at schools, universities, workplaces, businesses, organizations and social circles, is a celebration for all, regardless of ethnicity. or religious.
More than 26 countries participated in the inaugural IMHM 12 months ago, but this year the number has increased significantly, WHD said, with the participation of more individuals, organizations, businesses and educational institutions.
“Additionally, we have seen an increase in awareness of IMHM on social media by individuals and academics, (and) our reach on social media has quadrupled compared to last year,” he said. -he adds.
The organization – which founded World Hijab Day, which is held on February 1 each year to raise awareness of the hijab and why it is worn – said its goal was for IMHM to be recognized federally in the states. United and internationally, to help fight Islamophobia. global.
New York passed a resolution to recognize the month on May 4, 2021, “to honor those who foster ethnic pride and raise the profile of cultural diversity that strengthens the fabrics of New York State communities,” Andrew Cuomo, the governor at the time, said.
WHD called on lawmakers around the world to do the same. He also urges individuals, organizations and educational institutions to get involved and help raise awareness of the campaign.
Ways Muslims and non-Muslims alike can get involved include engaging on social media, asking government officials to recognize May as International Muslim History Month, supporting a Muslim business or donating to a Muslim organization, reading a biography of an influential Muslim personality and sharing their story, or speaking out against discrimination and prejudice against Muslims within their community.
The theme of this year’s event focuses on Muslim pioneers from the Golden Age to modern times in four categories: medicine; STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics); liberal arts; and discovery, including inventors, explorers and innovators. Conferences are organized every week to raise awareness among personalities in these fields.
“At the first conference, presenters discussed examples from Ibn Sina, the father of modern medicine, from the Golden Age, to Dr. Ugur Sahin and Dr. Ozlem Tureci, the creators of BioNTech, a company focused on manufacturing personalized cancer vaccines,” WHD said. In partnership with Pfizer, BioNTech has also developed a vaccine against COVID-19.
Other notable Muslims who have been spotlighted this year include 13th-century Persian poet Rumi, 6th-century Arab poet Imru’ Al-Qais, Pakistani-American neurosurgeon Dr Ayub Ommaya, Palestinian-Jordanian molecular biologist Dr. Rana Dajani, Arab philosopher Ibn Khaldun, Moroccan explorer Ibn Battuta, Caliph Harun Al-Rashid, Turkish astronomer Burcin Mutlu-Pakdil, among dozens of others.
WHD has also partnered with different organizations, including Majlis Ash-Shoura: Islamic Leadership Council of New York, an umbrella organization that represents over 90 mosques and organizations.
“Over the past two decades, Muslims in general have been portrayed negatively, especially in the media,” said the organization’s founder and chief executive, Nazma Khan.
Growing up in New York, she said her defining factor was noticing “the minimal, if any, inclusion of Muslim-Islamic history in the mainstream school curriculum.”