Home 5 Articles and Reports 5 Children’s Book Tackles Prejudice Against UK Muslims

Children’s Book Tackles Prejudice Against UK Muslims

by | Jun 13, 2018 | Articles and Reports

Roger Tagholm


A self-published book by the founder of a tiny independent publisher in Harrow in west London has won the UK’s Little Rebels Children’s Book Award for Radical Fiction.  The award is run jointly by London’s Letterbox Library – a bookseller and education supplier that champions diversity; and radical London bookseller Housmans.

The Muslims by Zanib Mian tells the story of Omar who is proud to be Muslim and keen to apply Islamic teachings to his life, but who has to face problems of misunderstanding and prejudice from his fellow pupils at school.

Mian’s own publishing house, Sweet Apple Books, has published the title, which was written, she says, “to counteract the extremely damaging negative media portrayal of Muslims, and to correct some common misconceptions”.  The title has not yet been translated into Arabic.

Mian believes that books are an important tool in improving understanding of people of other cultures and faiths, and that this “leads to respect and a celebration of diversity”.

She hopes the book highlights the fact that “we all have more in common than we realise” and that it “reassures children that the differences that we do have are perfectly fine and in fact, make life more colourful!”

She adds: “We’re extremely excited about giving young Muslims a character that they can see themselves and families like theirs in.  This is a book that celebrates both their Islamic and British heritage, a book that makes them feel that they are understood and welcomed in the environment in which they live.”

According to Mian, the UK charity Childline revealed that children as young as nine are being branded terrorists in the wake of recent terror attacks in the UK.

“Muslim children have told Childline they’ve endured constant name-calling, been accused of being associated with Isis and been threatened with violence. Young girls have frequently been victimised when they wear a hijab or headscarf, the helpline said.”

Mian is Pakistani by origin but was born and raised in London.  She studied Molecular Cell Biology at University College London and went on to teach Science in secondary schools before she made the decision to give up her teaching career to create change within children’s publishing.  She felt that diverse characters from all minorities and backgrounds weren’t being fully represented in books for young children and she launched Sweet Apple Publishers in 2014 with a clear commitment to publishing inclusive books, many of which she has authored herself.  She also runs Muslim Children’s Books, a successful publishing company for unique, quirky and inspirational Islamic books.

She concludes: “We, at Sweet Apple, feel that quirky and fun characters like Omar are the best way to break down the prejudice that leads to this type of bullying and name calling. We hope that this book will build bridges and help create a world in which we celebrate diversity and stand together.”

Recent News

SBA concludes its successful participation in the BCBF

SBA concludes its successful participation in the BCBF

  The Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) concluded its participation in the Bologna Children’s Book Fair (BCBF) 2024, marking its commitment to fostering the publishing sector, libraries, and creative industries.  With a delegation comprising key cultural entities affiliated with SBA, including Al Qasimi Publications, the Department of Culture, Arab Children’s Book Publisher Forum, the Etisalat Award […]

PublisHer Excellence Awards Winners Announced

PublisHer Excellence Awards Winners Announced

First-ever PublisHer Excellence Awards winners revealed at Bologna Children’s Book Fair   –          Winners of Lifetime Achievement, Emerging Leader, Innovation Awards announced –          PublisHer founder Bodour Al Qasimi commends the winners and nominees –          Winners selected by a professional jury following a six-month […]

Philippine Book Festival Returns Bigger on April 25

Philippine Book Festival Returns Bigger on April 25

Mark your calendars because the 2nd Philippine Book Festival (PBF) is back, and it’s bigger than ever! From April 25 to 28, book enthusiasts can flock to the World Trade Center in Manila for a literary extravaganza featuring over 160 exhibitors. This event, organized by the National Book Development Board (NBDB), promises to bring together […]

Related Posts

Celebrating Maya Angelou – An April Icon

Celebrating Maya Angelou – An April Icon

April Birthday Maya Angelou (born April 4, 1928, St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.—died May 28, 2014, Winston-Salem, North Carolina) was an American poet, memoirist, and actress whose several volumes of autobiography explore the themes of economic, racial, and sexual...

Acquisitions, and a Royal Title Drive PRH Growth

Acquisitions, and a Royal Title Drive PRH Growth

Penguin Random House worldwide CEO Nihar Malaviya struck a positive note to staff when commenting on the publisher’s results for 2023 which saw a 7% revenue rise worldwide to €4,532m (£3,886m), up from €4,223m in 2022.  Profit dipped marginally by 0.3% to €664m...

Books Published in March 2024

Books Published in March 2024

  Grow Where They Fall by Michael Donkor   As a 10-year-old, Kwame Akromah is disciplined, cautious, well-mannered, and top of his class – until his magnetic cousin Yaw comes over from Ghana to live with the family, and turns everything upside down. Two decades...

Previous Next
Test Caption
Test Description goes like this

Pin It on Pinterest