The Community Foundation's Jude McCann (right) with delegates at the Women in Islam conference.
Community Foundation shares in discussion on women in Islam
On March 27th, the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland and the Belfast Islamic Centre (BIC) hosted a public lecture at the Community Foundation’s Community House in Belfast.
In August 2010 the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland’s VOICES programme awarded £500 to Belfast Islamic Centre as a seed grant to assist in establishing a committee and activities for the Palm Tree Group which is an over 50’s group within BIC.
This was followed in February 2011 by a £2000 development grant for facilitated sessions to explore hidden voices and issues amongst those most disadvantaged or marginalized in their community.
With speeches from Dr. Hakeem Yusuf and Mrs Nereem Moustafa, the public lecture was an event to celebrate the work of Palm Tree Group as well as an opportunity to hear from speakers about the ‘Status of Women in Islam’.
Dr Yusuf Hakeem is a law lecturer and expert in transitional justice and human rights. He is currently Director of the LLM Programmes in Human Rights at the Queen’s University Belfast School of Law.
Mrs Moustafa is an Egyptian pharmacist who has been living in the UK for 3 and a half years.
Palm Tree Group promotes health, wellbeing and social integration within the community, encouraging the group to use 'health and wellbeing' as a platform for integration with other groups and extending this integration to challenge misconceptions about Islam and oppression of women.
Jude McCann, Policy Office at the Community Foundation’s VOICES programme said: “We are delighted to be able to support the BIC and Palm Tree Group.
“So often, thanks to the divisive nature of society in Northern Ireland, groups like this can be pushed aside and marginalised, lacking a voice to transmit their concerns.
“At the Community Foundation we think it is essential to help groups like this have a voice and, in doing so, make Northern Ireland a more diverse and inclusive society for those who wish to come here and make it their home.”