Leading academics, politicians and figureheads from the Muslim community will come together to explore and celebrate the past, present and future of Muslims in the city, during a special conference later this week.

A one-day event on Friday 21 October will bring together a range of different speakers to consider the opportunities and challenges facing Birmingham’s Muslim communities, and to explore what it really means to be a Muslim in today’s Britain. Birmingham’s Muslim population is significantly higher than the UK average, with 21.8% of the local population identifying as Muslim compared with just 4.8% elsewhere in England and Wales.

During the event, sessions will take place to explore who Birmingham’s Muslims are, what the city means to them, and why they are unique among the wider British Muslim community. As well as featuring talks from experts in the field, the event will invite delegates to work together in small discussion groups, creating an opportunity for all voices to be heard.

An exhibition of photography highlighting the valuable role and place of Muslims in Birmingham will also be displayed throughout the day.

Dr Chris Allen, Lecturer in Social Policy at the University’s Department of Social Policy and Social Work, and organiser of the conference, said:

‘This event is the first of its kind to bring together academics, policy-makers and members of the wider community to explore what it means to be a Muslim in Birmingham today. We hope that it will help promote community cohesion by showcasing the hugely positive impact that Muslims have had, and continue to have, on the past, present and future of our city.’

Speakers at the event include:

  • Rt Hon Liam Byrne - Member of Parliament for Birmingham Hodge Hill
  • Shabana Mahmood - Member of Parliament for Birmingham Ladywood
  • Dr Chris Allen - School of Social Policy, University of Birmingham
  • Dr Arshad Isakjee - Institute for Research into Superdiversity, University of Birmingham
  • Salma Yaqoob - former Respect Party Parliamentary Candidate and Birmingham City Councillor for Sparkbrook
  • Cllr Waseem Zaffar MBE - Lozells & East Handsworth Ward; Cabinet Member for Transparency, Openness & Equality

The event is free to attend, but registration is required to reserve a place. To book, visit: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/birminghams-muslims-past-present-futures-challenges-opportunities-tickets-27524901722

For more information, contact Liz Bell at the University of Birmingham Press Office on +44 (0)121 414 2772.