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Leadership, Authority and Representation in British Muslim Communities

8 January 2019

Centre for Study of Islam in the UK addresses key contemporary questions at special conference

Academics and activists come together to explore issues of leadership, authority and representation in British Muslim communities at a one-day event in the Welsh capital.

Leadership, Authority and Representation in British Muslim Communities is the latest event organised by the Centre for the Study of Islam in the UK, organised in conjunction with a special issue of the international journal Religions jointly edited by Centre Director Professor Sophie Gilliat-Ray and Research Associate Dr Riyaz Timol.

The event is addressing a range of highly topical questions including:

  • Who speaks for British Muslims?
  • How is authority construed, constructed and exercised in an age of mass media and the Internet?
  • What internal and external factors shape leadership structures and modalities of representation for British Muslims living as a minority in a culturally Christian but largely secular social context?
  • Where do leaders come from in a decentralised religious tradition lacking a priestly hierarchy?
  • How do government discourses and media representations impact upon dynamics of leadership and authority in British Muslim communities?

Delivering keynote lectures are Ataullah Siddiqui (Markfield Institute of Higher Education) and Shaukat Warraich (Faith Associates).

The conference culminates with a panel discussion on The Future Role of Imams in the UK chaired by Muslim Council of Wales Secretary General Saleem Kidwai OBE. Participants include Rehana Sadiq, Shuruq Naguib, Atif Imtiaz, Mufti Abdur Rahman Mangera, Myriam Francois-Cerrah and Imam Qari Asim.

Co-organiser Dr Riyaz Timol said: “We’re delighted that this conference has generated national interest and the number of abstract submissions has been quite overwhelming.  The interest of practitioners, civil society activists and imams alongside academics indicates that our selection of conference themes has struck a real chord, underscoring the Centre’s commitment to focus on the everyday lived experiences of British Muslims and the issues that matter most to them.”

Leadership, Authority and Representation in British Muslim Communities takes place on Monday 21 January 2019 at the University’s Council Chamber. Advance conference registration is available until 9 January (£30/£15 concessions).

Opened at Cardiff University in 2005, the Centre for the Study of Islam in the UK pursues high-quality educational initiatives with local, national, and international impact.

The Centre’s popular Annual Public Seminar Series opens for 2019 with Dr Anabel Inge on The Making of a Salafi Muslim Woman: Paths to Conversion on 6 February. It culminates on 3 April with award-winning foreign correspondent James Fergusson speaking on Islam - Another British Religion? in partnership with the National Union of Journalists. All seminars are free and open to the public, with advance booking recommended.

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