Interview of Andreea Predut from Romania after the Training Course "It's about choice" in Berlin.
Can you give us your opinion about the project “It´s about choice“?
I think that through the project „It`s about choice”, me and the other participants gained knowledge necessary to combat Islamophobia. At least we developed skills to stop the spread of negative ideas about Islam and also about Muslims.
I think that during the mobility we learned how to think outside the box. We tried to understand the point of view of the others which may be different from ours.
I liked that we had also non-formal activities beside the presentations, the group discussions or the reflection groups.
The city quest was a great idea as we were split in teams and we got to know each other. In this way, we had also the chance to visit the main Berlin attractions. I remain with great memories from the cultural night or from the chess tournament.
Last but not least, meeting new youth workers from different part of the world just makes me happy that I took the right choice by applying to “It`s about choice”.
Do you think Islamophobia is a threat for our society?
We live in a world where we can find threats everywhere. I am not talking necessarily about tangible threats like having an accident, being robbed or taking part in a violent scene on the streets. Anyway these can be real threats to people nowadays. But I am thinking about the threat of not being loved by your family, the threat of being abandoned by your relatives, the threat of not receiving proper education.
Islamophobia exists in some parts of the world because of the harm someone did in the past. A coincidence or not, he or she was a Muslim. From this point, it was only a step to the general misconception that the Muslims are „the bad guys” from the society.
So actually I do not think that only Islamophobia is a threat for our society, but also Christianophobia or Hinduphobia.
What can be done to combat Islamophobia on community, national or international level? In the last years, Islamophobia has been fueled by public anxiety due to the massive immigration. Also, the integration of the Muslims into majority cultures in Europe generated a common fear of Islam.
I think that Islamophobia can be combated starting from the personal level. Each one of us should get information from credible sources. In the same time, it is better to listen to the voices from the institutional level, although there are even politicians with a discourse against Muslims. Sometimes this fact may be confusing for the population.
That is why the change begins on community. If we want to combat Islamophobia, we have to do our best to combat first the hate speech, the violence, the racism from our country or even from our collectivity.