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 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 provide informnation about the University of Birmingham’s various activities that are helping to feed into a more nuanced narrative about what it really means to be a Muslim in today’s Britain. .
Programme for the Event
10:00am Welcome and Introductions
Rt Hon Liam Byrne - Member of Parliament for Birmingham Hodge Hill
Shabana Mahmood - Member of Parliament for Birmingham Ladywood
10:30 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
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.
Talha Ahmed - Iman
Ahmad Boston - Chairman of the Far Reach Foundation; broadcaster and charity aid worker
Saidul Haque Saeed - Senior Organiser, Birmingham Citizens
Shaz Manir - Amirah Foundation
12:15 CITY - a short film by Mohammed Ali (Aerosol Arabic)
12:30 Lunch including prayers
This session will consider some comparisons: the shared experience of Muslims with Irish communities and the unique characteristics Birmingham’s Muslims have in comparison to those elsewhere.
Prof Jocelyne Cesari - University of Birmingham & Harvard University
Prof Mary Hickman - London Metropolitan 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’.
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
4:15 CLOSE: Future Research Programme and Conference Close
The Conference Chair will close the event and give details of future activities.
Throughout the day, photographic images will be displayed highlighting the role and place of Muslims on the Birmingham landscape.