Chronicles, European Projects, Islam is not the enemy

Sharing Experiences – Latvia Team – Latvijas jauniešu attīstības centrs

In May our organisation participated in International Training Course named “Islam is not the enemy”
organised by ASUL association from Belgium and Asociación EuropeYou from Spain

Here is dissemination from our participants. They made local meeting with colleagues, friends, target groups of their workplace and want to share impressions!

➡️ Aleksejs Anisimovs: “As we know according to European islamophobia report, there is an evolution of
Islamophobic developments and incidents in European countries. Although most European countries deny the existence of Islamophobia, anti-Islam and anti-Muslim
sentiment, the report demonstrates that racism and hate crimes against Muslims became widespread and began to normalize throughout Europe. I am representing Latvia as a country with “European values” and the “European way of life” as well as traditional culture, but in practice this actually mean also that diversity is not welcome in my country. To have a good understanding of islamophobia, origins and causes and to build a common understanding of Islamophobia context at national level especially with youth people I participated in this training course. I developed individual skills for recognising and confronting stereotypes, prejudices, discrimination, intolerance against Muslims. As experienced youth worker I shared to people with whom I work with the competences and methods to tackle Islamophobia and all negative issues coming with it. People are the main audience of Erasmus+ programme so I am appreciated to have this possibility and to the organisers. They did amazing job to make this training course interesting and productive.

➡️ Aleksandra Dombrovska: “From 17 till 24 of May Latvian group was participating is a Training course “Islam is not the enemy” and representing our beautiful country in Torremolinos, Spain. The main aims of the Project was to raise awareness about islamophobia and understand its context and origin, to learn more about Islam itself and analyze stereotypes, prejudices against Muslims, to develop tolerance and open minded attitude both at national and European level. This was implemented through various non-formal education activities and methodologies.
It was a great project, a nice opportunity to learn more about Islam and different religions, to meet amazing people from various countries, to debate and compare our points of view. It was very interesting to hear personal stories of other participants that they have faced in their countries and also share the Latvian perspective. During the project we also had a chance to interview locals and find put their opinion about islamophobia in Spain, which was also a valuable experience. I definitely feel more European after this project, because such discussions allow you to understand that we all have similar problems, similar values and goals. Each participant is a bright personality that is incredibly interesting to discover.
I’m very grateful to our amazing trainer Francesco and Giuseppe that were leading the sessions during this training course. They are very passionate about their job, very intelligent and interesting people. It was a pleasure to build our cooperation. Project coordinator Debora also did a great job, the logistics and organization of the project was on a top level. Spain is a great venue for hosting projects as it has rich intercultural environment, incredible history and traditions, the sense of freedom and calmness. It was a lifetime experience for me, I’ve learned a lot, I’ve met great people from different countries, and I’ve spread the word about my beautiful country and its culture.”

➡️ Aleksandrs Posts: “ISLAM is not the enemy was a mobility of youth workers, KA1 Training Course, under
Erasmus+ and was implemented by Association Universitaire Latino-Américaine with the support of EuropeYou. The project involved 24 participants from 6 different countries. This gave us a clear overview of the current situation on acceptance in Europe. Through various sessions and activities based on non-formal education we learned a lot as well as shared our experience to others. According to European islamophobia report (EIR) 2017, there is an evolution of Islamophobic developments and incidents in European countries. But beside statistics there is also human factor, so we had a chance to experience it. I want to thank organisers for professionally-developed course.”

➡️ Viktorija Cumak: “The definition of Islamophobia is associated with the fear or hatred of Islam. What is more, the word of islamophobia is derived basically from the word islam and phobia. In other words, it is meant that a fear of dislike of something exists. More specifically, Islam is characterized as a monolithic bloc, stationary and impassive to changes. Therefore, Islam is thought to be something separate and other.
However in a company where I am working the islamophobia is not an enemy for sure. We are an international company , and we set a generic goals , we are business oriented , so basically we love to work with Muslims , as they are professionals , accurate and punctual persons. This project helped me to understand the world’s attitude to Muslims , I didn’t know many facts , especially the political factors. After this project we disused in our team about this topic , and no one says that Islam is bad or dangerous , we respect each other and we believe in our bright future .

So , we also have a great and successful business in Kazakhstan for example , we investigated this region very well , and we also have a great collaboration with our partners. We have a big plans for many other Muslim countries in 2019.

Good luck to all of us !”

 

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