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Muslims in Education: Navigating Equality and Inequality


Race and education have often been a politically contested space, writes Dr Shamim Miah. Recent conversations around race and education have created a polarised space between those who advocate a post-racial logic to race and racism and those who maintain the centrality of race and debates around racialised minorities to explain racial inequality in British society. 

This one-day seminar organised by a partnership initiative between Muslim Institute and University of Huddersfield aimed to relationship between theory and practice between Muslims in Education. It aimed to achieve this through a critical polylogue between academics, community activists, policy analysist and educational practitioners. The concept of polylogue starts with the realisation that new knowledge and understanding comes through critical exchange of ideas. 

This one-day seminar on Muslims in Education brought together academics, civil servants, teachers, and educationalists together for a polylogue on race and ethnic disparity with a particular focus on Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities in Britain with the aim of creating a racially inclusive society. Ashid Ali, founder and Principal of London Enterprise Academy, a Free Secondary School serving some of the poorest pupils in London Borough of Tower Hamlets shared interesting insights into the many obstacles and challenges that Muslim pupils must navigate between school, neighbourhood, and families. Sajida Muneer, the principal of Feversham Girls together with Prof Kurshid Khan the chair of Feversham provided success stories of developing educational excellence within Muslim girls in Bradford. Dr Atif Imtiaz an Affiliated Lecturer at the Divinity Faculty, University of Cambridge and a lecturer at the University of Bradford shared important research on the importance of transcending the pessimism of fatalism. Dr Jayne Price is Acting Head of Department and Head of Division for Initial Teacher Education (Schools) in the School of Education and Professional Development shared critical research on institutional racism. Whilst Dr Bilal Nazir Lecturer in Educational at Leeds Beckett University discussed important research on the impacts of vocational education policy and practice on Muslim students.   Finally, Mohammed Farooqui Associate Assistant Headteacher at Batley Grammar School and doctoral candidate at University of Huddersfield discussed his research on the positive educational outcomes of Pakistani males stemming from Azad Kashmir.  


July 2023