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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Tiktok’s fantastic display of Muslim creators celebrated in parliament by Afzal Khan MP

To mark International Women’s Day (8 March) and the UN’s International Day on Combatting Islamophobia (15 March),  Afzal Khan MP, hosted a celebration of Muslim content creators in Parliament. The event, organised with TikTok, brought together MPs, content creators and policymakers to discuss faith in the public sphere.

Released in 2016, TikTok is a video-sharing social media app that allows users to create and share short-form videos. It has since grown to become one of the biggest entertainment platforms in the world, boasting 1 billion users worldwide. Ofcom data shows that 23.3 million people in the UK are using the platform.

TikTok creators with Afzal Khan Image: Zainab Gulamali

TikTok, which has 1 billion users worldwide, is becoming an increasingly important home for small businesses, contributing £1.63bn to UK GDP last year with 1.5 million British businesses using the platform to grow their brand and reach new customers. The event hosted Maryam Malik (@maryxm.mx), Unzela Khan Shaikh (@unzela_), Sumayah Saadi (@by.sumayah), Nazma Bashir (@soloskinlondon), Coco (@cultofbooks) and Marium Jeelani (@mariumimj), who spoke about how the platform has contributed to their professional success. 38% of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) on TikTok are owned by people from ethnic minorities, compared to 26% of all SMEs.

Amongst those invited to share their insights was Manchester-based Sumayah Saadi, one of TikTok’s leading modest fashion entrepreneurs. Her viral success on TikTok enabled her to open offices in London as well as her first shop in her hometown last year. Afzal Khan MP visited the shop in Levenshulme last September to hear more about the success of her modest fashionwear business, which had saw hundreds of eager customers queuing for hours on its opening day.

Speaking after the event, Afzal Khan MP said:

“Platforms like TikTok can help provide a voice to people from under-represented communities who have had to fight harder to be seen and heard. By amplifying strong, inspiring stories, young Muslims – particularly Muslim women – are encouraged to show confidence and take pride in their culture, religion, and heritage.

“SMEs are the lifeblood of our economy, contributing billions of pounds each year. Last year, I had the pleasure of seeing for myself just how impactful TikTok can be in helping SMEs grow their brand when I visited Sumayah, based in my constituency, where I learned about her incredible efforts in starting an eco-friendly modest fashion business using TikTok before opening up a physical store on Stockport Road, which had hundreds of people queuing down the street on opening day.

“I am incredibly proud to see young Muslims flourishing in this sector and I commend the creative ways in which they are sharing their stories and experiences. I hope to see many more inspired by the innovative successes of these incredibly driven and accomplished Muslim women.”

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