Profiles

Co-Director

Merryl Wyn Davies

Appointed in May 2010 she is a writer and broadcaster with some 30 years of involvement with Muslim intellectual life. At the BBC she worked for Everyman, Heart of the Matter and Global Report and was a regular contributor to the Muslim magazine Afkar/Inquiry. Her books include Knowing One Another: Shaping an Islamic Anthropology and Darwin and Fundamentalism. In collaboration with Ziauddin Sardar: Distorted Imagination: Lessons from the Rushdie Affair and a trilogy on America from Why do People Hate America? to Will America Change?

 

Co-Director

Hassan Mahamdallie

Appointed in September 2013 Hassan Mahamdallie was born into a large Indo-Trinidadian/English family. After completing an MA in Theatre Studies at Leeds University he worked as an actor, radical journalist, arts-in-education worker and Arts Council England senior diversity officer.

Hassan contributed to the book Tell It Like It Is: How Our Schools Fail Black Children (2005) and published a biography of radical artist William Morris, Crossing the River of Fire (2008). He edited the book Defending Multiculturalism- a Guide For The Movement (2011). His latest work is Black British Rebels – Figures from Working Class History.

Hassan is the artistic lead on a performance project, Loyal Enemy, based on the life of Marmaduke Pickthall. He is presently researching a one-woman play looking at the life of Somali nationalist leader and poet Sayyid Maxumud Cabdille Xassan. Hassan is a founder member of the campaigning organisation Unite Against Fascism. 

 

Deputy Director

Samia Rahman

Appointed in September 2010 she is a writer and journalist. Formerly deputy editor of emel magazine she has written for the Guardian, Prospect magazine and the New Statesman on a range of issues including segregation in Bradford, the dangers of working in the media in Russia and attitudes within the Muslim community to homosexuality. She worked on the Channel 4 Dispatches documentary Young, Angry & Muslim and has been a researcher for Channel 4 News and More4 News. She is currently researching a book on the Muslims of Dagestan.

 

 

                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chair of Trustees

Ehsan Masood is a science journalist. He began his career on MuslimWise magazine and is now editor of the Research group of publications including Research Fortnight and Research Europe. He worked for the journal Nature as London correspondent, developing world correspondent and acting chief commissioning editor. He teaches international science policy at Imperial College London and advises the British Council on science and cultural relations. His books include Dry: Life Without Water, The GM Debate: Who Decides? British Muslims: Media Guide and Science and Islam: a history. He is a member of the board of trustees of lead International.

 

 

 

Trustees

 

 

Ziauddin Sardar, an internationally renowned writer, broadcaster and cultural critic, is Professor of Law and Society at Middlesex University. He is the author of over 50 books, including Reading the Qur’an, Desperately Seeking Paradise, and Balti Britain. His most recent book is Future: All That Matters. A former columnist on the New Statesman, he is the co-editor of Critical Muslim and Consulting Editor of Futures, the monthly journal of policy, planning and cultural studies. Professor Sardar is well known as a public intellectual and appears frequently on radio and television. 

 

 

Dr Ghayasuddin Siddiqui is a well-known Muslim activist, an expert on Islamic fundamentalism and Muslim political thought. A champion of female empowerment he campaigns against forced marriage, domestic violence and murder in the name of honour. Together with senior clerics, he launched a Muslim marriage contract to protect the rights of women. He is co-author of a report on and campaigns against child abuse within faith-based environments. Dr Siddiqui has promoted dialogue and engagement across all barriers: social, cultural and political.

 

 

 

Halima Gosai Hussain comes from a diverse religious background; her mother and father have roots in the Hindi tradition and Islam, respectively. She has a degree in Philosophy & Theology from King’s College London and an MA in Middle Eastern Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), where her research focused on alternative interpretative methodologies of the Quran. She is a founding member of the Inclusive Mosque Initiative (IMI), which provides spaces for worship, open to all, regardless of gender, age, sexuality, disability, sect, etc. which she feels is like being in "Islamic utopia".

 

 

 

 

Asim Siddiqui is head of compliance at an international banking group in London. He is a fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and a member of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment. A co-founder and former chairman of The City Circle, Asim has been on the front cover of TIME Magazine as part of a piece on ‘Europe’s Muslim Success Story’. He has featured in a number of books on the development of British Muslim communities including “Young, British Muslim Voices” (Greenwood World), “Young, British & Muslim” (Continuum) and “Race, Islam and Being British” (Guardian/Barrow Cadbury Trust).

 

 

 

 

Mufti Barkatulla is a senior Imam and lecturer on Islamic Finance at a Community College. Trained extensively both in traditional Islamic and modern Western educational institutions, he has served UK Muslims as a community worker and as a Judge at Islamic Sharia Council, London. He has developed Islamic Sharia information databases on cd-rom and recently hosted live phone-in shows on community TV channels. He is a member of the Sharia supervisory boards of several institutions including Islamic Bank of Britain and Lloyds tsb. He maintains the Islamic Helpline.

 

 

 

Shazia Ovaisi is a medical doctor. After completing a medical rotation at Kings College Hospital, London and obtaining her Membership of The Royal College of Physicians (mrcp), she pursued a career in General Practice. She is a Member of the Royal College of General Practitioners (mrcgp) and holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Dermatology from Barts. She has been awarded a National Institute for Health Research (nihr) Academic Fellowship; a Masters Degree in Public Health at The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Stroke Research at St George's University of London. Shazia volunteered for an ngo in Kashmir after the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan and has worked on social action projects in Rwanda and Sierra Leone.

Hayet Bahri is a professional conference and liaison interpreter. She is curently a lecturer on the MA programme in International Liaison and Communication at the University of Westminster. She has been involved in Interfaith Dialogue for over a decade, particularly with the Maimonides Foundation and Daughters of Abraham. She has also been active with various Arab and Muslim grassroots organisations in London.

Suniya Qureshi is chief executive officer of Qismat Foundation. Her previous roles include senior strategy advisor at the International Unit G20 of the Department for Work Pensions, executive director of British Pakistan Foundation and executive trustee to UKMAP. She has worked avidly for a range of UK based Pakistani charities including Learning for Life, SOS Children's Villages and DIL UK.