By Dr Amina Easat-Das, Early Career Academic Fellow, De Montfort University, Leicester
Dr Amina Easat-Dat in her lecture highlighted a range of disparities between the political situation of Muslim women in France and Belgium. She argued that these were due to the differing cultural and socio-political contexts within the two states as these influenced the variations within their political activism among the two neighbouring European states. Set within a strict and uncompromising application of laïcité in France and fuelled by the tense contemporary political realities within the state, such factors influenced the extent to which the subjects under discussion viewed themselves as European Muslims, or protestors against institutionalised and publicly endorsed Islamophobia and discrimination. Surpassing stereotypes of Muslim women as passive beings or possible threats Dr Easat-Das portrayed Muslim women in France and Belgium through the intersection of race, religion, and gender demonstrating their resilience and determination to pursue active engagement in political office by overcoming a plethora of barriers.