‘Do you know who I am?’ Film highlights British Muslim fears

The three-minute film showcases young Muslims from London exploring their experiences of Islamophobia

Nabila Pathan
Nabila Pathan - Special to Al Arabiya English
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What does it mean to be a Muslim in a country where attacks, fear and Islamophobia are on the rise?

The three-minute film “Do you know who I am?” showcases young Muslims from London exploring their experiences of Islamophobia and their sense of British identity.

Hate crimes against British Muslims have skyrocketed since the Paris attacks in November, which left 130 people dead.

Online magazine Dazed, which published the film, said there were more than 115 incidents recorded in a single week, “including a petrol bomb being thrown into a mosque in east London.”

The video captures young British Muslims speaking out about how exposure to Islamophobic sentiment has shaped their feelings of belonging and identity, as well as their expectations for the future.

The media’s role is continuously called into question in the video. The media has “demonized Muslims,” says one.

An article published by Daze says: “Muslims make up just five per cent of the United Kingdom’s population, yet some divisive newspaper headlines would have you think otherwise.”

Describing a “changing atmosphere,” those in the video say they feel more insecure about travelling on public transport, and are subjected to taunts by random members of the public on streets.

“I’ve gone to school here, my family all live here, we work, I vote, I do everything I can in my capacity to fit in here, and that will never be enough for some people I guess,” says a young woman in the video who has lived in the UK for 20 years.

The last speaker in the video says: “We don’t really have anything to prove, but at the same time people expect us to prove so much.”

Akeela Ahmed, who is part of a government working group on anti-Muslim hatred, was this month herself subjected to intimidation by a driver.

“I wasn’t sure what would happen next, and whether or not the man would escalate his aggression to a physical attack. I now feel uneasy every time I go to pick up my daughter from school,” she told Al Arabiya News.

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