Chronicles, European Projects, Islam is not the enemy

Sharing experience – Karollay Angulo Zamora

My name is Karollay Angulo Zamora and I took part in the Erasmus Plus training course in Malaga, Spain through the organization “Ruana” that I work with. It was my first experience of this kind and I found it very interesting and stimulating.

I was attracted to the course for three main reasons: the first that the course was in English, which was good to improve my languages skills; the second was the theme of the course; the third was to be able to meet other young people from around the world.

I was particularly interested in the theme of course, which was Islamophobia. Living in Italy, with large numbers of immigrants coming from Islamic countries and the number of attacks we hear about by extremists who carry them out in the name of religion, I hear people talking about Muslim as if they were all terrorist.

The course was more practical than theoretical and I found this very positive. We were encouraged to put ourselves into the position of Muslim people who are discriminated against because of their religion and their way of life. We discussed issues concerning the way they dress, the role of women, their tendency not to integrate but to keep themselves to themselves. We were often put into role-play situations for example in a court with the defense and prosecution arguing each side, or in a school where we had to debate ways of including all the students in a particulars activity. We also pretended to be part of political parties who advocate total integration.

Certainly, this course opened my mind and I have understood that not everything we hear on television or the internet is true. What made we think was realizing how difficult it is for so many Muslims to be tarred with the same brush as the Islamic fundamentalists when all they want to do is live a normal life, but in another country.

In general, the Erasmus Plus course helped to understand that to accept others in a positive way we have to get to know them before we judge them. My experience in Malaga was very good because I met a lot of amazing people from different cultures who know more than I did about the topics we were discussing and I learnt a lot from them.

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