IAIS stands against racism

We, the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies (IAIS) at the University of Exeter, wish to express our outrage at the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the deaths of numerous other Black Americans through police violence.  We condemn racism, police brutality and white supremacy.  And we stand in solidarity with the protestors taking action to demand – and create – radical change across the US and globally, including here in the UK.

As a diverse and close-knit community, we at IAIS understand our responsibility to confront all forms of racism, oppression and violence, including anti-Black racism, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.  We also recognise the need for our broader University community to take this opportunity to reflect seriously on its own structures, systems, spaces and practices. 

Caring for our community means acknowledging what must change.  Several of our staff and students already participate in the growing anti-racism, decolonisation and democratisation movements at the University of Exeter.  We will be calling upon their expertise and resources.  As a department, IAIS commits to examining our pedagogy, our research agendas, our systems of representation, our spaces for dialogue and our structures of support, in order to ensure that our actions are accountable – and that our deeds match our words and aspirations.  We commit to change and invite others to join us.

To our students and BAME staff members, we say that we hear, see and feel your pain – you are not alone at this time.  We will be circulating information about coming opportunities for dialogue and avenues for support, in relation to events in the US and their resonance in the UK. 

To our colleagues, we say that our commitment to social justice includes everyone – we are all accountable.  Our work will involve those responsible for teaching and learning in the classroom, those who drive the engines of our research, and those who perform the immense labour of coordinating logistics and providing student support.

To our wider community at the University and in the city of Exeter, we say that we will be reaching out to you to foster meaningful connections that allow us to work together – to challenge systemic racism and to build a more just future.

We have work to do.

Signed,

The Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter