Dr Maryyum Mehmood BA, MA, PhD

Dr Maryyum Mehmood

Department of Theology and Religion
Teaching Fellow
Associate Director, Edward Cadbury Centre for the Public Understanding of Religion

Contact details

ERI Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Mehmood is the Associate Director of the Edward Cadbury Centre for the Public Understanding of Religion, University of Birmingham, where she co-convenes and serves as Senior Tutor for the MPA in faith-based leadership.  Alongside this, she is a Young Religious Leader for the UNAOC (United Nations Alliance of Civilizations) EDIN (Empowering Dialogue & Interfaith Networks) programme. She is also a Research Associate at St Benet’s Hall, University of Oxford, and a Trustee for the Women’s Interfaith Network.  

website: www.theshiftwithmaryyum.com

email: info@theshiftwithmaryyum.com


  • PhD War Studies, King’s College London (2018)
  • MA South Asia & Global Security, King’s College London (2013)
  • BA (Hons.) Politics, SOAS, University of London (2012)


Dr Mehmood holds a PhD in Antisemitism and Islamophobia from the Department of War Studies, King’s College London, and a Masters in South Asia and Global Security, with a focus on sectarianism, from the same department. Her current research focuses on spiritual abuse within faith-based spaces, especially directed towards women and vulnerable groups.

Through her foundation, The SHIFT with Maryyum, she curates content to increase religious literacy, and tackle gender-based violence and racism. Currently, Dr Mehmood is spearheading a global campaign to end spiritual abuse in faith-based communities. She is also co-host of a transatlantic podcast, Diasporastan. She regularly appears on international broadcast media and also writes academic as well as journalistic articles on pertinent social issues and global affairs.


Areas of specialism broadly include:

  • Spiritual Abuse and Gender-based Violence
  • Prejudice and Racialization of Religious Identities
  • Multiculturalism, Ethnic Heritage & Diaspora
  • Interfaith and Sectarian Harmony
  • Radicalisation and Counter-Extremism

Other activities

Select Talks and Conferences

  • ‘Soft Power, Faith & Digital Diplomacy: In Conversation with Pakistan’s Permanent Envoy to the UN,’ Panellist, Daily Times sponsored event, Apr 2021
  • ‘Awareness with Human Action TownHall; Countering Extremism & Hate Speech with Interfaith During Covid-19,’ Host and Facilitator, European Union and KAICIID-funded FinChurch Aid, Mar 2021
  • ‘Muslim Women in Academic Leadership,’ Key Speaker, Muslim Women Times Nigeria, Mar 2021
  • ‘Social Cohesion & Faith-based Leadership,’ Panellist, Cumberland Lodge Faith Belief 2040, Nov 2020
  • ‘Christian-Muslim Diversity in Interfaith,’ Panellist, Christian-Muslim Encounters, Nov 2020
  • ‘Violence Against Women & Girls: Interfaith Perspectives,’ Panellist, Oxford Brookes Uni, Nov 2020
  • ‘Soft power, interfaith, and the UK’s place in the world post-Brexit,’ Chair, Annual Interfaith Summit London, The Faith and Belief Forum, Nov 2018
  • ‘Islamophobia, Antisemitism & Racism: Understanding Racialization of Muslim & Jewish Identities,’ 9th Annual Islamophobia Studies Conference, UC Berkeley, Apr 2018
  • ‘Marginalised Minorities,’ Conflict, Security & Development Conference, King’s College, London, Feb 2016
  • ‘Religious Radicals or Political Accommodationists: Stereotyping and Stigmatisation of British Muslim Student Activists,’ Reconsidering Religious Radicalism Conference, Cambridge University, May 2016
  • ‘From Socialist Jews of Weimar to British Muslim Student Activists,’ British Association of Islamic Studies Annual Conference, London, Apr 2015

Extracurricular Activities

Inclusion and Diversity 

  • Mentor for Aziz Foundation, supporting underprivileged, high-achieving British Muslim postgraduate scholars at King’s College, London with essay-writing and work placement advice (2020-21)
  • Co-convene Network for Sisters in Academia global hub providing 1000+ Muslim women academics with training to harness social media platforms and upskilling to attain research objectives (2018-present)
  • Doctoral Student Representative in the School of Security Studies, King’s College, London, liaising between faculty-wide student body and university administration and policy staff to affect change (2014-17)
  • Mentor for Faith and Belief Forum on the UN-approved Interfaith Leadership programme, Parliamentors, training emerging leaders on effective social activism strategies and diplomatic etiquette (2011- present)

Media and Public Outreach

  • Regular contributor to media discussions of faith including BBC Big Questions (2020, 2021), BBC Radio 4 Reflections (2020), Channel 4 News (2019), TRT World (2019-2020)
  • Founder of The SHIFT (Social Harmony, Intercultural & Faith Training) Foundation for enhancing religious literacy and tackling misogyny, racism and spiritual abuse in faith-based spaces through training toolkits, and advocacy campaigns on YouTube and Instagram
  • Steering committee member for British Academy, Faith & Belief Forum Cohesive Societies Report 2020
  • Host Cadbury Women in Conversation series with inspiring women of colour and faith whose ideas changed the world, including acclaimed science journalist, Angela Saini (with almost 600 in audience)
  • Co-host popular transatlantic podcast - Diasporastan - a space to amplify third-culture artists and activists, addressing themes on the intersections of culture and religion (available onSpotifyApple)
  • Member of Board of Trustees of Women’s Interfaith Network, serving as an interlocutor between academics, practitioners and policy-makers to empower young women of colour in decision-making positions
  • Co-hosted Cadbury Conversations podcast in 2019-2020, guests include women faith leaders and human rights activists bringing forth changes to policy and mindsets in the Global South



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