HIGHLIGHTS

Below our some of the achievements we are proud to share with you.

 
 

MUSLIM MINORITIES & THE REFUGEE CRISIS IN EUROPE: 

8-9 NOVEMBER 2018, WARSAW, POLAND

We will be presenting a paper at the SGH Warsaw School of Economics on 8-9 November 2018 in Warsaw Poland. Using the United Kingdom’s asylum and immigration laws as a case study, we will be critiquing three of its mechanisms with a view to uphold Muslim refugee rights in Europe. These are: the methodology of granting asylum by the Home Office, the use of expert reports in immigration tribunals and the role of country reports in supporting asylum cases. Despite the value in all of these processes in producing just and transparent UK immigration laws, they have distinct failings because they do not adequately investigate the religious, political, legal and social dimensions of a refugee’s case. It is left to an unwitting member of the Home Office or one expert to make sense of a refugee’s race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion. The result is that refugees are not given a fair and rigorous voice to represent themselves. Our question is: should the rights of a refugee hinge on the knowledge (or lack thereof) and decision-making power of a few individuals before hearings? And when a case goes to an appeal hearing, should the decision rest on a judge whose recourse to evidence is limited to expert and country reports?

 

Brokerage in a diverse Europe: 
Intermediaries, go-betweens and bridges
 
12-13 January 2018, The Open University, London

We presented a paper at the Brokerage conference organised by the Open University and the Council of European Studies. We argued that Imams, Shaykhs, Mullas and/or Muftis have become almost synonymous today to describe the role of a Muslim preacher in his/her community. Traditionally, such preachers are male and operate in accordance with a particular conception of the Prophetic model of leadership to guide their communities. For example, the pious character a preacher must possess, his knowledge of classical Islamic sciences, ability to perform rituals and engage with those beyond his community. Imams therefore hold a significant position of influence as brokers within and outside their communities. Notwithstanding their contributions, are they effective brokers in communicating and cooperating with non-Muslim communities? Is their role broad enough to appeal to their own members in a rapidly-changing global environment? Finally, is there a need to go back to a more universal conception of the Imam based on Prophet Muhammad and Ali ibn Abi Talib – two figures that engaged in conflict resolution with their opposition?

 

INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON HUMAN DIGNITY:

16-17 JULY 2016, IMAM HASAN CENTRE, SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

On 16th-17th July 2016, we held an international roundtable symposium in Sydney entitled: 'Exploring the Meaning and Application of Human Dignity in Islam.' The aim of the symposium was to arrive at a conceptual understanding of human dignity, tackle difficult legal, ethical, social and spiritual issues pertaining to Muslims and change the narrative in Western media that Islam is a terrorist religion. The following keynote speakers (from the Shi'a and Sunni tradition) were invited:  Shaykh Arif Abdulhussain (Al-Mahdi Institute, UK)  Professor Liyakat Takim (McMaster University, Canada)  Professor Aasim Padela (University of Chicago)  Dr. Nahid Afrose Kabir (University of South Australia)  Dr. Jan Ali (Western Sydney University)  Dr. Majid Daneshgar (University of Otago, New Zealand)  Mahmoud Pargoo (Australian Catholic University)  Dr. Imranali Panjwani.