In November 2015, a series of terrorist attacks in Paris shocked communities all over the world. What is continuously ignored by the media is the repercussions faced by Muslims all around the globe, whether this be a casual hostility from next-door neighbours or an upfront verbal or physical attack from strangers. In the week following the Paris attacks in 2015, Islamophobic hate crimes skyrocketed by over 300%, totalling to 115 attacks. Most victims of such crimes were Muslim women aged 14-45, while most perpetrators were white males aged 15-35. By hosting regular events to improve relations between communities, Asma Meer is combatting Islamophobia and prejudice one cupcake at a time.


“Peace of Cake” events began in 2015 following the infamous attacks in Paris. The events involve people of all ages, backgrounds, and religions coming together to enjoy a slice (or two) of cake and an amicable chat with somebody new, whether that person be a Muslim or merely someone interested in educating themselves or others about social issues and misconceptions regarding the Islamic faith. Every face at the Peace of Cake event at St. John’s Church was smiling, relaxed, and welcoming. In such a friendly and inviting environment, members of the community feel free to ask any question regarding the beliefs and experiences of others, resulting in a lot of personal growth. Asma identified how speaking face-to-face with a Muslim spreading peace is significantly more effective than reading seemingly empty words on social media., and brings about a vast amount of support for others within a community.


Asma recounted the story of a hostile and uneducated woman who frequently used to share misleading anti-Muslim posts on Facebook out of fear and anger following terrorist attacks. After attending just one Peace of Cake session, the same lady was seen sharing a hug with a Muslim lady in a niqab, showing just how important it is to simply educate people in Britain and how effective events such as Peace of Cake can be. Not only does the event assist others in learning about Islam, it also encourages Muslims to learn about other faiths and experience Church, creating a path to learn and grow available for everyone.


Peace of Cake events also strive to strengthen the communities in other ways. Frankie Turner, the secretary of the church council at St. John’s Church and someone who is frequently involved in Peace of Cake events described how they brought cake to the Lewisham and Lee fire stations following the firefighters’ involvement in the Grenfell fire disaster in 2017, uplifting those involved.


It is undeniable that Peace of Cake has brought an immeasurable amount of growth, support, and has strengthened relationships between people of all faiths, backgrounds, ages, and races. The work that Asma Meer has been doing over the past four years is truly inspirational and it is safe to say that her work to encourage communication and friendships is paying off within the local community.