Maslaha has a range of projects in areas including education, gender, criminal justice and health.
Maslaha's range of projects means we understand the multiple identities communities hold, and the multiple deprivations that can exist.
We initiate and create spaces for people to contribute, shape and give a voice to their ideas and actions. This is an integral part of our work, our process, and enables new perspectives and interventions to be created.
Our projects are possible because of the generous support and partnership of our funders, who you can read more about under projects they have specifically funded. We wish to say a special thanks to the Pears Foundation providing us with unrestricted and project funding, and belief and trust in our work since Maslaha’s early days.
WHY OUR WORK IS IMPORTANT
The past few years have seen a heightened focus on Muslim communities and Islam across the UK and abroad. The combination of terrorist attacks, war, political decisions about how to tackle radicalisation have all shaped with an intense pace how Muslims are portrayed and regarded in wider society.
The levels of social deprivation and inequality, however, continue to grow. Muslim communities continue to suffer disproportionality from inequalities in health, education, criminal justice, negative media coverage and a continued climate of Islamophobia and practical initiatives that can create systemic change, remain absent.
A significant proportion of this population lives in deprived inner-city areas, and Muslims surpass all other faith groups in levels of unemployment, economic inactivity, ill health, educational underachievement, and poor housing conditions:
The reasons for this currently are a lack of awareness and practical understanding of the specific needs of Muslim communities and other BAME marginalised communities (we’re using BAME here for ease) and understanding the importance of religious, cultural, gendered, geographical and class context.
Government departments, public services and the charity sector tend to focus their work on singular issues, but inequality crosses these silos and so solutions which focus on only ‘education’, or ‘homelessness, (for example) do not adequately address the multi-faceted inequalities which Muslim communities and other disadvantaged people face. Failing to account for intersecting inequalities, means for example that Muslim communities continue to suffer disproportionately from chronic health conditions such as diabetes or depression, costing the NHS financially. In the case of the criminal justice system discrimination has led to disproportionate numbers of young Muslim men in prison and young offender institutes. This not only ruins individual lives but affects families as well, and creates a distrust of the justice system. This is also occurs at great cost to the tax-payer. Muslim and other marginalised communities know what they need, and yet their voice is usually unasked for and their expertise remains unrecognised.
Government policies such as Prevent, instead of tackling this distrust or Islamophobia, have instead exacerbated feelings of isolation. Surveillance in places that rely on trusting relationships such as schools and hospitals means a breakdown of trust between communities and public services. This leads to services failing in their mission to treat all communities equally regardless of their ethnicity or religious belief.
There is a distrust of Muslim communities and Islam which pervades our media, society in general and services. This has led to a system of stereotyping and silencing of the diversity that exists within Muslim communities, with the most marginalised feeling the brunt of this prejudice.
As well as projects funded for fixed periods in the above areas of focus, Maslaha also provide a range of services including consultancy, conference and media appearances, research, one-off workshops, and service design.
The Maslaha team has a diverse range of expertise. We can deliver workshops in areas including (but not exclusive to) gender equality, social entrepreneurship, tackling social inequalities, activism and the arts, criminal justice and cultural relevance in education and healthcare.
Maslaha has conducted diverse research that has impacted policy and practice in healthcare, criminal justice and education. We are always happy to consider commissions or to contribute to research pieces.
Maslaha has considerable experience in redesigning public services in imaginative ways to be more tailored to Muslim and other marginalised communities. This experience is rooted in our health work and we have now expanded this across our other areas of focus including education and criminal justice.
We are always happy to talk about opportunities to collaborate or get on board with new projects. If you would like to discuss an idea with us, below get in touch through the link below: