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Birmingham’s Muslims: past, present & futures, challenges & opportunities

11 October, 2016 17:03
Birmingham’s Muslims: past, present & futures, challenges & opportunities

Date: October 21, 2016 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm 

Venue: The University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK

This exciting one-day event at the University of Birmingham looks to explore - and indeed celebrate - the role and place of Muslims and their communities in the city of Birmingham: past, present and future.

The event will bring together a range of different speakers including academics, politicians, policymakers, community activists and lay people to help consider both the opportunities and challenges that face the city and its communities today and in the future. The conference will also provide information about the University of Birmingham’s various activities that are helping to feed into a more nuanced narrative about what it really means to be a Muslim in today’s Britain.

Program for the Event

  • CONTEXT: Birmingham’s Muslims

A number of speakers will offer short talks which consider who Birmingham’s Muslims are, focusing on issues such as identity, characteristics, diversities, theologies, tensions. The talks will be followed by a panel discussion with the audience.

- Dr Chris Allen, School of Social Policy, University of Birmingham

- Dr Arshad Isakjee, Institute for Research into Superdiversity, University of Birmingham

- Mahwesh Jabeen, School of Social Policy, University of Birmingham

  • CITIZENS: Different Muslims, Different Voices

This session will provide a space for Muslims from across the city to speak not only about what Birmingham means to them but so too what being Muslim in Birmingham also means. This session will also provide a space for those attending the conference to share their views and experiences also.

- Talha Ahmed, Iman

- Ahmad Boston, Chairman of the Far Reach Foundation; broadcaster and charity aid worker

- Saidul Haque Saeed, Senior Organizer, Birmingham Citizens

- Shaz Manir, Amirah Foundation


This session will consider the shared experiences of Muslims coming to Birmingham with other similar communities including the Irish and Black Caribbean communities.

- Prof Mary Hickman, London Metropolitan University

- Joy Warmington, Brap (formerly Birmingham Race Action Partnership)

  • COMMISSION: Beyond Birmingham

This session will consider some comparisons: the shared experience of Muslims with Irish communities and the unique characteristics Birmingham’s Muslims have in comparison to those elsewhere.

- Prof Jocelyne Cesari, University of Birmingham & Harvard University

- Prof Mary Hickman, London Metropolitan University

  • COMMISSION: Islam, Participation and Public Life

This session will focus on the role of the Citizens UK Commission on Islam, Participation and Public Life, its preliminary findings in particular those relating to Birmingham.

- Esmat Jeraj, Citizens UK

- A Commissioner (tbc)

  • CHALLENGES: Future Challenges, Future Opportunities

This session will invite attendees to work together in small groups to discuss the future challenges and opportunities facing Muslims and their communities in the city of Birmingham. Feedback from these discussions will be fed back to the wider group. This session will be concluded by keynote addresses that will consider the issue of ‘future challenges, future opportunities’.

- Salma Yaqoob, former Respect Party Parliamentary Candidate and Birmingham City Councilor for Sparkbrook

- Cllr Waseem Zaffar, MBE of the Lozells & East Handsworth Ward; Cabinet Member for Transparency, Openness & Equality 

  • CLOSE: Future Research Program and Conference Close

The Conference Chair will close the event and give details of future activities.

Throughout the day, photographic images will be displayed highlighting the role and place of Muslims on the Birmingham landscape.

More information about the program at:

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Birmingham’s Muslims: past, present & futures, challenges & opportunities
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