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'Diversity: The Gift Of Islam' Joint Conference held by Muslim Institute and Imaan


Saturday 10 — Sunday 11 May 2014, 10:00 — 16:00


Muslim Institute
CAN Mezzanine,
49-51 Old Street, London N1 6AH


This event has finished, bookings are now closed

We are pleased to announce an upcoming conference jointly organised by the Muslim Institute and Imaan.

The conference will take place in London on 10th and 11th May 2014 at the Muslim Institute office. The aim is to explore the Islamic ethos of respect for diversity, specifically in the context of Muslims in plural societies. 

Through our plenaries, workshops and informal discussions, we hope to live out and extend the Islamic values of critical inquiry, justice, community-building and learning. We hope that the cross-pollination of ideas and experiences amongst our panellists and participants will inspire us to incorporate them in the various aspects of our lives. 

The Weekend Conference Registration Fee is £30 per person. A concessionary fee of £15 is available for those who are unemployed, students or asylum seekers. Proof of status will be required.

The registration form can be downloaded here (please note that the deadline for registrations has been extended to end of 9/5/14 due to demand)

Payment details will be provided by email. 

Please email your completed registration forms to or

Alternatively you can buy tickets via the eventbrite page which will be selling tickets up until the conference date!

For further information or queries, to volunteer your skills, experience or time for the conference, please do not hesitate to contact us on the above details.

Conference programme:

Saturday 10 May 2014

* 9.15am: Registration opens

* 9.45am: Opening speech by Shanon Shah

* 10am: ‘The Duty to Tell the Truth: Can Islam/Sharia be Inclusive?'

Speakers: Farouk A. Peru, Dr Usama Hasan, Professor Ziauddin Sardar

Chair: Dr Alev Adil

* 11.15: Tea break

* 11.30am: ‘Muslims and Refugees: Persecutory Narratives and the Trauma of Integration’

Speakers: Houyam Imaan, Tawseef Khan, Alan Morrice

Chair: Dr Samia Bano

* 12.30am: Lunch

* 1.30pm: ‘Muslim Women – Facilitating Equality, Engagement and Empowerment’

Speakers: Dr Fauzia Ahmad, Nimko Ali, Sara Khan

Chair: Dr Rabia Malik

* 2.45pm: ‘Finding a Place in the Ummah: Narratives of Conversion’

Speakers: Batool Al-Toma, Merryl Wyn Davies, Dr Jamie Gilham

Chair: Samia Rahman

* 4pm: Tea break

* 4.15pm: ‘The Role of Self-expression in Fostering Inclusion and Understanding Within Muslim Communities’

Speakers: Dr Alev Adil, Sarah Pickthall, Dr Bilal Hassam, Kinsi Abdulleh

Chair: Hassan Mahamdallie

* 5.30pm - 7pm: Reception

Sunday 11 May 2014

* 9.45am: ‘On the Fringes: Who Are You to Say I’m Not a Muslim!’

Speakers: Iqbal Asaria, Dr Afzal Ashraf, Imam Sheikh Abdul Mumin Harun


* 11am: Tea break

* 11.15am: ‘What Can Interfaith Dialogue Provide: Real Potential, Lip Service or Useless Experiments?’

Speakers: Julian Bond, Stephen Shashoua, Fiyaz Mughal OBE, Mehri Niknam

Chair: Rania Hafez

* 12.30pm: Lunch

* 1.30pm: ‘British Muslims: Citizenship and Integration’

Speakers: Dilwar Hussain, Sunny Hundal, Dr Nasar Meer

Chair: Shanon Shah

* 2.45pm: ‘Can Islam Reconcile Inclusive Worship’

Speakers: Tehmina Kazi, Rabiha Hannan, Halima Hussain Karwa

Chair: Naeem Musa

* 4pm: Tea break

* 4.15pm: ‘Same-sex Marriage: The Final Frontier’

Speakers: Shaykh Abu Muntasir, Imam Daayie Abdullah, Leyla Jagiella

Chair: Ehsan Masood

* 5.30pm: Closing remarks by Professor Ziauddin Sardar

* 5.45pm: Close


Imam Daayie Abdullah is an African-American Imam based in Washington DC.

Kinsi Abdulleh is founder of Numbi Arts and SCARF magazine.

Dr Alev Adil is Artist-in-Residence at the University of Greenwich and Principal Lecturer in Media Poetics.

Dr Fauzia Ahmad is a Lecturer at UCL’s Department of Political Science. Her research has focused on the experience of British Muslim women.

Batool Al-Toma is Director of the New Muslims Project.

Nimko Ali is a female genital mutilation survivor and campaigner. She is co-founder and CEO of Daughters of Eve.

Iqbal Asaria is former Editor of Afkar/Inquiry magazine.

Dr Afzal Ashraf began his career in the Royal Air Force before completing a PhD in terrorist ideology. He currently trains diplomats in International Diplomacy.

Dr Samia Bano is a Senior Lecturer in Law at SOAS. Her research interests include the practise of Muslim family law in the UK and Europe.

Julian Bond is Director of the Christian-Muslim Forum.

Merryl Wyn Davies is co-Director of the Muslim Institute.

Dr Jamie Gilham is the author of Loyal Enemies: British Converts to Islam: 1850-1950 (2014).

Rania Hafez is Senior Lecturer at the University of Greenwich and founder and director of Muslim Women in Education.

Rabiha Hannan is one of the founders of New Horizons in British Islam and co-author of Islam and the Veil (2011).

Imam Sheikh Abdul Mumin Harun is the current President and Regional Imam of Kumasi Central Mosque, Ghana.

Dr Usama Hasan is an Imam and Islamic Researcher at Quilliam Foundation.

Dr Bilal Hassam is a Medical Doctor and Chair of the Leaf Network 

Sunny Hundal is a British journalist, blogger and academic. He is Editor of the political blog Liberal Conspiracy.

Dilwar Hussain is Founding Chair of New Horizons in British Islam.

Houyam Imaan is 34, Arab Muslim, and an asylum seeker from Morocco.

Leyla Jagiella is studying for a PhD in Religious Studies and is author of the essay The Forgotten Gender in CM08: Men in Islam.

Halima Hussain Karwa works with Inclusive Mosque Initiative and focused her postgraduate research at SOAS on alternative interpretive methodologies of the Qur’an.

Tehmina Kazi is Director of British Muslims for Secular Democracy.

Sara Khan is Director of British Muslim women’s human rights organisation Inspire.

Tawseef Khan is the Chair of Imaan and is studying for a PhD in law.

Hassan Mahamdallie is co-Director of the Muslim Institute

Dr Rabia Malik is an academic social Psychologist and co-Head of the Marlborough Cultural Therapy Center.

Ehsan Masood is Editor of the Research Group of publications and a Trustee of the Muslim Institute.

Dr Nasar Meer is Reader in Social Sciences in the School of Arts and Social Sciences at Northumbria University and co-Director of the Centre for Civil Society and Citizenship.

Alan Morrice is an Advocate and Campaigner for the rights of asylum seekers and a Guardian and Advisor to youngsters struggling to negotiate the asylum system.

Fiyaz Mughal OBE is the Founder and Director of Faith Matters.

Shaykh Abu Muntasir is Chief Executive of JIMAS

Mehri Niknam is Founder and Executive Director of the Joseph Interfaith Foundation

Farouk A. Peru is a PhD candidate and Seminar Instructor at King’s College, London and Chairman of the Quranists Network.

Sarah Pickthall is a Digital Curator, Consultant and Community Producer. She is a descendent of Mohamed Marmaduke Pickthall

Samia Rahman is Deputy Director of the Muslim Institute and Deputy Editor of Critical Muslim.

Professor Ziauddin Sardar is a writer, broadcaster and co-Editor of Critical Muslim.

Shanon Shah is a PhD candidate at King's College, London. His thesis explores sexual minorities in Malaysia.

Stephen Shashoua is Director of Three Faiths Forum