“I think it’s important to realise that it’s more a global system of systemic oppression. That we are not isolated and alone. That we can all work together, there is power in numbers.”

Q: What word would you use to describe yourself? – Muslim-feminist


Q: what are things are you facing back home? – I was really interested in the project when I read about it. It’s so necessary in the current political climate that we are living in at the moment in terms of focusing on transforming hate, especially among youth because in the societies that we are living in are facing hate and we need to work with youth to try and transform that hate to something a lot more positive.

Q: when you hear the word hate speech what comes to mind? – A lot of things because it comes in various forms, a lot of it is based on ignorance most of the time and with ignorance comes prejudice. And if that’s not being addressed then you know this prejudice and ignorance is manifested through hate speech.

From my experience in Finland, a lot of its directed to minorities and in particular ethnic minorities of Muslim backgrounds or perceived to be Muslim. And that has a lot to do with the global and current European state of affairs to islamophobia. It’s very contemporary and current so Finland is not spared. It’s across all the sectors, from the societal level, in the media, coming from politicians. So in Finland I would say its more islamophobic hate speech.

Q: Had there been a moment where you have felt confident to tackled hate speech? – There are been a few incidents, one in particular was in an online setting. Someone I knew said something that was hateful in a post. It didn’t go very well, with messages going back and forth with online interaction.

It’s not one of my most successful moments in addressing hate speech, but I did try to address it. I do think it’s as important that we make efforts to confront situations. Because the situation in Finland is that they don’t normally call out hate speech or problematic behaviour so the act of calling it out is the first step in transforming it.

Q: What are you ambitions for the next 10 months (in December 2017), what do you think you can do to help transform hate speech? – It will be a process of new knowledge tools and methodologies that I can use in my workshops also more knowledge for myself in terms of gaining more confidence in delivering workshops to an audience made up of the majority of society. Also having more experience in running trainings. Over the next 10 months gaining experience, through it could be challenging and properly will be challenging, but it’s a challenge I am willing to take on, that I signed myself up for in this project.

Q: What skills and knowledge have you gained from being part of this training course? – We went through tools and methodologies that I can use in training but also in my personal life, the process of being more reflective in terms of the process of transformation, the tree method was an eye-opening tool and a lot of us in the project have come to realise just in terms of how powerful it can be.

Q: Have you learnt from other participants? – Yes, for sure, we are very diverse group, we come with different knowledge, skills and experiences so I’ve defiantly had the chance to learn more about other peoples lived experiences and I think that it’s important not to just focus on my own experience, you know as a Muslim woman in a white majority country you know I’m so oppressed and then you know forgetting that there are other groups out there who are also facing the same sorts of systemic oppression. So for me it’s been nice to really hear other peoples lived experiences and what there national context are. Because I think it’s important to realise that it’s more a global system of systemic oppression that we are not isolated and alone. That we can all work together, there is power in numbers.

Q: What does equality mean for you? – Recognising that people have different starting points in life, and by recognising that and working towards change that or working to bringing them to the same equal standing at the starting point, that for me is equality.

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