In 2000 I graduated from Wolverhampton University with a British Sign Language/English Interpreting degree and have since worked in a variety of settings within the mainstream Deaf community.
However, in addition to my everyday interpreting and workshops, I also have the unique position of being the only British Asian, Muslim-born, male RSLI (Registered Sign Language Interpreter) in the UK to date.
This is extremely rare but has enabled me to become more involved with the Deaf Muslim community as a BSL Interpreter with additional language and cultural skills.
These unique skills allow me to simultaneously interpret between Arabic and Urdu in addition to BSL and English!
However, here in the UK, a complete lack of this unique, communication provision is one of the biggest obstacles faced by the Deaf Muslim community. It creates complex barriers to accessing any Islamic education, which in turn has huge consequences to Deaf Muslim identity and sense of belonging.
Now, in addition to that, I have since published a Book titled: ‘Deaf Muslims Searching for Islam’.
This work aims to provide an insight into the complexities experienced by the UK’s Deaf Muslim community in 2014. It raises many points of concern and interest.
It considers many contributing factors including a lack of: access to bi/trilingual modes of communication, funding, appropriately qualified professionals and the social impact on the home & family environment.
It examines the issues, barriers, consequences, the impact this has and what considerations should be made for any future provision. A book will soon be available to purchase but in the meantime the online book can be downloaded here for Kindle or here for other devices.
Tariq Mahmood is the founder of TariqDeafUK (TDUK ) and is (as far as he knows) the UK’s only fully qualified and fully NRCPD registered provider of BSL interpreting to the British Deaf Muslim Community. The Limping Chicken is the UK’s independent deaf news and blogs website, posting the very latest in deaf opinion, commentary and news, every weekday! Don’t forget to follow the site on Twitter and Facebook, and check out our supporters here.
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