The EU-funded project MAGIC wants to strengthen the presence of Muslim women’s voices in European media

13 March 2023 | Press release

MAGIC (Muslim Women and Communities Against Gender Islamophobia in Society) is a project co-financed by the EU’s Equality and Citizenship Program (2014 – 2020) that seeks to prevent gender Islamophobia in Spain and Belgium, in particular in the media, and extract lessons applicable to other European countries.

The project has been carried out within two years (2021-2023) and has included, on the one hand, the monitoring and analysis of gender Islamophobia in Belgian and Spanish newspapers and, on the other, collaboration with leaders of Muslim communities, Muslim women and civil society organizations working in diversity to increase awareness of these biases in information and to encourage the inclusion of Muslim voices in the media.

In this sense, the project has mobilised so far more than 535 people from Muslim communities, associations and NGO’s and media circles of Spain and Belgium, done trainings, promoted awareness campaigns created by associations in the framework of the project, and become a platform for dialogue and cooperation between these associations and media representatives.

Presentation at the European Parliament

The closing event of the project, titled Muslim Voices for Diversity Dialogue, is to take place at the European Parliament on Monday 20th March from 1.30 pm.

The event includes the Secretary of State of Belgium for gender equality and opportunities and diversity, Sarah Schlitz, the MEP Pierrete Herzberger-Fofana, also co-president of the anti-racism and diversity group of the European Parliament (Ardi), and Shada Islam, editor-in-chief of EUObserver Magazine, among representatives of the project’s Consortium, researchers, and representatives of civil society networks working against racism and other types of discrimination.

It will be the occasion to present the recommendations and proposals stemming from the works of MAGIC to expand the diversity of Muslim women voices in the Media.

It will also include the presentation of the results of 15 months of monitoring and analysis of the journalistic discourse in a selection of printed newspapers of Belgium and Spain (Le Soir, the Dernière Heure, Het Laatste Nieuws, El País, La Razón, and ABC) and a debate on the involvement of civil society in shaping media narratives.

MAGIC has also fostered a Coalition of Muslim women, communities, and journalists eager to continue the work of the project at a European level. This work will be done in accordance with a European Road Map to Curb Anti-Muslim Gender Stereotypes and to Promote Inclusiveness of Muslim Voices in Public Narratives, a document discussed and approved in the run up to the final event of the project.

Project team

The Magic project has been carried out by a Consortium formed by the European Institute of the Mediterranean (project leader), the Fundación Al Fanar para el Conocimiento Árabe, Media Diversity Institute Global, and the Collectif pour l’Inclusion et Contre l’Islamophobie en Belgique (CIIB) which is organising this final event of the project.

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