For the past three years I have been involved in leading a national initiative called Islam Awareness Week. A celebration of faith and community that has been running for more than 25 years, it aims to raise understanding of the positive contribution made by British Muslims in all walks of life, including education, medicine, the arts and politics.
Five years ago, a rather different initiative sprang up, called Islamophobia Awareness Month, which sets out to highlight one of the most negative aspects of being a Muslim in Britain today.
The hatred of others should not determine how Muslims are viewed. Focusing disproportionately on Muslims as victims creates division: it emphasises the us and them mentality that further alienates Muslims from society.