Islam: What's the Big Idea
Rania Hafez, Aamer Hussein, Khyle Alexander Raja and Ziauddin Sardar(Chair) explore Islam as a faith looking at Sunni and Shi’a identities to ask how we define Islam today.
Rania Hafez is a writer and academic. She is senior lecturer in Education at the University of Greenwich and visiting research fellow at the universities of Derby and New Buckinghamshire. She is a regular political and cultural commentator whose media credits include the BBC, ITV, the Islam Channel, as well as national and local radio. She writes as a columnist for Spiked and The Free Society and has been published in The Independent and the educational press. Besides holding key national roles in education, Rania Hafez founded the professional network Muslim Women in Education. In 2010 she was named as one of six ‘women of the world’ by a leading German style magazine.
Aamer Hussein was born in Karachi, Pakistan, in 1955 and moved to London in 1970. He is the author of five collections of short stories: Mirror to the Sun, This Other Salt, Turquoise, and Insomnia. He is also the editor of Kahani: Short Stories by Pakistani women. He reviews regularly for the Independent. His novella, Another Gulmohar Tree was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize in 2010. His latest novel is The Cloud Messenger.
Khyle Alexander Raja is an Artist based in London. He creates vivid landscapes through the art of drawing, influenced by his professional background in architecture and a life-long fascination with science fiction. Khyle is also a creative producer with Soul City Arts, a cutting edge organisation that brings together artists across various spectrums, exploring themes of spirituality and the urban space. www.khylearaja.com
Ziauddin Sardar (Chair), writer, broadcaster and cultural critic, is Professor of Law and Society at Middlesex University. Author of over fifty books, he is considered a pioneering writer on Islam and contemporary cultural issues. His books include Desperately Seeking Paradise: Journeys of a Sceptical Muslim, Balti Britain: A Provocative Journey Through Asian Britain, and, most recently, Reading the Qur’an and Muhammad: All That Matters. He is the Chair of the Muslim Institute and co-editor of the quarterly Critical Muslim.
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