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

Nettleford Room - Nicholson Building, University of Birmingham, Winterbourne
Lectures Talks and Workshops, Social Sciences
Friday 21st October 2016 (15:18)
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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 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 launch the University of Birmingham’s newly proposed Birmingham’s Muslims research project that among other things will begin to map the stories of different Muslims across the city to create an alternative, more nuanced narrative about what it really means to be a Muslim in today’s Britain.


10:00am Welcome and Introductions

Rt Hon Liam Byrne - Member of Parliament for Birmingham Hodge Hill

Prof Saul Becker - College of Social Sciences, University of Birmingham

10:20 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

Ibrahim Mogra - Imam and Assistant Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain

11:20 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. This session will be supplemented by the findings from a social media campaign that will use the hashtag #BrumMuslim.  

Mohammed Ali - Aerosol Arabic

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

Shaz Manir - Amirah Foundation

12:00 COMPARISONS 1: Sojourners to Citizens: shared experiences

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)

12:30 Lunch including prayers

1:45 COMPARISONS 2: Beyond Birmingham

This session will consider some of the unique characteristics of Birmingham’s Muslims in comparison with other cities in Europe and beyond. 

Prof Jocelyne Cesari - University of Birmingham & Harvard University

2:30 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)

3:00 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’.

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

4:15 CLOSE: Future Research Programme and Conference Close

The Conference Chair will provide an overview of the University's proposed Birmingham’s Muslims research project before closing the event.

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