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Diversity Matters: An interview with Fariedah Jacobus

Fariedah Jacobus is studying our undergraduate law degree (LLB) at the London Bloomsbury campus. She previously studied at our Manchester campus, where she got involved with the Islamic Student Society. We talk to Fariedah about starting an Islamic Students Society at Bloomsbury and how it aims to support students.

By Elsa Tatam. Published 13 January 2023.

I discovered the University’s Islamic Student Society through friends. They encouraged me to attend the first meeting at the Manchester campus and they later encouraged me to be a part of the management team.

The aim of the society is to bring people of all backgrounds together under the core principles of Islam. We want to educate others on Islam and combat the negative stigmas around it by showing others kindness and extending a hand to anyone and everyone in need.

We are currently focusing on mental health and how to deal with it in a positive way, an example being our weekly emails with Hadiths and reminders. We want to make it known that the society is a safe place and a community that you can rely on.

Being a part of the Islamic Student Society in Manchester drastically changed my experience at university for the better. It provided me with a community of friends that I wouldn’t have met otherwise. I was able to meet students from all years, which is something that probably wouldn’t have happened otherwise, as I am not very extroverted.

I started the Islamic Students Society when I moved to the Bloomsbury campus as I was searching for that same warm and inviting environment that I had in Manchester, and a way to make new friends. So, with the help of the friends I had made prior to moving, we were able to create that for other people.

The most important element about the society is that it allows people to build a family and community. The Islamic Student Society has been designed to be a safe space for everyone, and these types of societies help create lifelong friendships.

We decided to open the society to non-Muslims as we wanted it to be inclusive and open to all. If individuals wanted to learn about Islam or attend our social events, we wanted them to feel comfortable and welcome to do so. I was taught not to discriminate and always extend a hand to others, and that attitude is installed within the society.

As the society continues to grow, we hope that we can make a positive impact through charity work and creating a community that goes further than just us.

The group has impacted my time at Bloomsbury by helping me come out of my shell and be less of an introvert. Being the president of the society has helped me come out of my comfort zone and really connect with people on a deeper basis. It has made university feel like a second home with all the friendly faces that I have met through the society, and I hope that others experience this too.

The Islamic Students Society is open to in-person and online students. You can join through our Students’ Union.


Learn more about how we support religion and beliefs at The University of Law.