For the past decade, Chris has been at the forefront of academic research into the phenomenon of Islamophobia. Having completed his Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded doctoral studies that explored the discourse and theory of the phenomenon here at the University, he has since gone on to develop research that has had social, political and public appeal. As well as appearing regularly in the media, in recent years Chris has worked alongside Government in an advisory capacity. Having submitted both written and oral evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee on Religious Offences and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Islamophobia, Chris also sits as an independent expert on the Cross-Government Working Group on Anti-Muslim Hatred based in the Department for Communities & Local Government.
In 2010, Ashgate published Chris book entitled "Islamophobia". With this publication, Chris became the first academic to put forward a full theoretical exposition of Islamophobia whilst establishing a new definition of the phenomenon. Critically acclaimed, Dr Sophie Gilliat-Ray (Director of the Islam-UK Centre, Cardiff University) wrote how the book "will become a standard work of reference, as well as stimulating future discussion". Prof Ron Geaves (Liverpool Hope University) noted how the "book is both timely and relevant and provides the depth of enquiry and investigation needed to deal with a highly contested phenomenon". Whilst Prof Jørgen S. Nielsen (Centre for European Islamic Thought, University of Copenhagen) noted how the book made "a substantial contribution to clearing up much of the confusion around a term which is usually emotionally and politically loaded".
In addition to the monograph, Chris continues to publish on that topic and other key issues facing contemporary Muslim communities in countries as Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Serbia, Spain and Switzerland. He was also the co-author of the seminal EUMC report into Islamophobia in Europe after 9/11.
Before taking up his current post, Chris was the Director of Research and Policy at a Birmingham-based human rights charity, BRAP.
As well as Islamophobia his other research interests include: the role of faith and religion in the public and political spaces; issues around diversity, multiculturalism and super-diversity; equalities legislation, policy and practice; inclusion, exclusion, integration and cohesion.