The Muslim Institute's Seventh Annual Ibn Rushd Lecture, which you can listen to here and view images here was delivered by Asad Rehman, the executive director of War on Want. A long-time anti-racism and social justice activist and organiser, Asad steers War on Want's campaigns to end poverty and injustice. He was previously the head of international climate at Friends of the Earth and has over 25 years of experience in the non-government and charity sector. He has served on boards of Amnesty International UK, Friends of the Earth International, Global Justice Now, and Newham Monitoring Project.
The event was held on Tuesday 14 June 2022, 6-9pm at the illustrious Art Workers' Guild Hall in London. Asad Rehman's talk continues the Muslim Institute's series of lectures in honour of the great twelfth century philosopher and polymath, Ibn Rushd. Intended to explore the contemporary relevance of Islam's intellectual history, the lectures are delivered by notable change-makers and thinkers. Previous lecturers have been Dr Amira Bennison, Professor Oliver Leaman, Professor Ebrahim Moosa, Dr Alba Fedeli, Mohammed Hanif and Lord Bhikhu Parekh.
Ibn Rushd was a master of philosophy, theology, law and jurisprudence, astronomy, geography, mathematics, medicine, physics and psychology. He is seen as one of the founders of secular thought in Western Europe, where his school of philosophy is known as Averroism. In the Muslim world, he is known largely for his defence of philosophy from theological attacks, particularly by scholastic theologian al-Ghazali (1058-1111). Today, all over the world, streets, statues and postage-stamps commemorate the life and works of one of the most important philosophers of all time.
The lecture was followed by a Q&A session, with discussion continuing over a buffet supper, catered by 'Made Up Kitchen', who use surplus food to create delicious meals.
Muslim Institute director Samia Rahman introduced the evening, which was chaired by Faith for the Climate director and Critical Muslim senior deputy editor Shanon Shah. They were joined by panelists Shumaisa Khan (Wisdom in Nature), Moiz Bohra (Research in the Climate and Resilience Hub, Willis Towers Watson), Alessandra Palange (Muslims Declare). Closing remarks were made by Muslim Institute Chair of Trustees Ehsan Masood, a science journalist who is bureau chief at Nature magazine.
6.00 - 6.15pm - Registration
6.15 - 6.20pm - Introduction by Samia Rahman, Director, Muslim Institute
6.20 - 6.45pm - Lecture by Asad Rehman, War on Want
6.50 - 7.55pm - Q&A and panel discussion moderated by Shanon Shah (Faith for the Climate), with Shumaisa Khan (Wisdom in Nature), Moiz Bohra (Research in the Climate and Resilience Hub, Willis Towers Watson), Alessandra Palange (Muslims Declare)
7.55 - 8pm - Closing remarks by Ehsan Masood (Chair of Trustees of Muslim Institute and Bureau Chief for Nature magazine)
8pm - Vegetarian buffet supper catered by Made Up Kitchen
Dr Moiz Bohra is Associate Director of Research in the Climate and Resilience Hub at Willis Towers Watson. Previously, he was a researcher in energy systems at the University of Geneva. He holds a doctorate from Imperial College London. Moiz's work has focused on the decarbonization of national energy systems - analysing the technologies, policies and financial tools needed to get to a zero-carbon energy system. He is also interested in the intersections of climate justice, faith and community-building.
Dr Alessandra Palange completed her PhD and has just started her honorary postdoctoral research fellowship at the UCL institute of education. She is the engagement coordinator for Zero Hour, the campaign for the Climate & Ecological Emergency Bill. She is also the co-founder of Muslims Declare.
Dr Shumaisa Khan is a core representative of Wisdom in Nature. She was a member of the Permaculture Association’s Research Advisory Board for two years, has studied food sovereignty and community food initiatives in London for her PhD, and taught undergraduate students about environment and inequality at the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment and on sustainable food systems at the University of Brighton. Shumaisa currently works at Phytology, an ecology and arts project in East London, where she coordinates place-based ecosocial design, research, and practice. She also co-intiated two spinoff projects, a soil care cooperative and an herbalism project that provides free community-made herbal remedies to local people in need.