- 21 Dec 21
Dr Amanullah De Sondy shares his thoughts and experiences as part of the 100 Voices #AllAgainstRacism campaign.
DR. AMANULLAH DE SONDY
Head of Department & Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Islam, UCC
I think the findings of the Race Equality Survey speak volumes. One of the biggest issues we find in Ireland is that there is no acknowledgement that racism exists, to the extent that we’re actually afraid of using the r-word, which I find unhelpful. We have to accept racism as a fact. It has to be a top-down approach to create not just awareness, but to implement and to think about race equality action plans at all levels of Irish society, including our universities.
I was born and raised in Glasgow. My parents are Pakistani. I’ve been here in Cork since 2015. I teach contemporary Islam, and so there’s the intersectionality of discrimination, which I kind of bear at some level. Discriminated against to an extent through being Muslim, but also being brown as well. For me, it’s been tough.
A couple of years ago, I received a death threat on my office phone at the university. It was filed with the police, but also my office is alarmed. Every single day I live my academic life, my personal life and my professional life, will be – for as long as I am at the University College Cork – a daily reminder of the effects of racism.
That pains me. I got involved in race equality after that attack against me, and I do it because I have a very privileged life. On some level, I do it because I worry. I worry for my students, I worry for the future of our universities, and that is very important to me.
It’s about creating awareness that we have to understand these issues in terms of intersectionality and the discrimination of intersectionality. So there’s a lot to think about. But I feel we’re on the right journey here in Ireland,. There’s a lot more conversation happening on these issues, and that can only be positive.
Read Part 2 of 100 Voices: #AllAgainstRacism in Hot Press:
Special thanks to the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission for their support in this project.