Poverty and British Muslims: MBRN/OCIS event in Oxford


The Muslims in Britain Research Network, together with the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, held a joint event in Oxford on Wednesday 16th, September. The thematic focus of the day was ‘Poverty and British Muslims’, and featured a keynote presentation by Professor Anthony Heath, academic responses, and a practitioner panel. The event also included the MBRN AGM, a networking session, and a tour of the OCIS new building. The MBRN Committee were delighted with the event, which had 60 attendees, and very grateful to OCIS and in particular, Dr Asma Mustafa, for hosting.

Post-Event Resources

A blogpost about Professor Heath’s presentation at the MBRN/OCIS Poverty & British Muslims conference in Oxford can be accessed here (website of the Centre for Social Investigation, Nuffield College, University of Oxford).

An excerpt:

We came up with three theories. The first is transitory factors, which is to say that Muslim groups are more recent arrivals to the UK and as such may have lower levels of education (or foreign qualifications that aren’t recognised), and are less likely to be proficient in English – these factors directly influence labour market outcomes. A second explanation might be intrinsic factors to the religion, for example, particular family values may mean lower rates of women going to work and larger family sizes. The third explanatory theory is prejudice and discrimination.

A more in-depth article about Professor Heath’s research, co-authored by Prof Li (University of Manchester), can be found here (‘Review of the relationship between religion and poverty – an analysis for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’).

Professor Heath’s slides for his MBRN/OCIS presentation are available here.

And an audio recording of the Practitioner Panel discussion involving Iqbal Nasim (National Zakat Foundation), Heather Knight (Islamic Relief) and Shaz Manir (Amirah Foundation) is embedded below. Thanks to NZF for the recording.

Event Photos (courtesy of OCIS)

Event Schedule

0930 – 1000 Registration
1000 – 1030 MBRN AGM
1030  1130  Networking Session
1130 – 1300 Tour of OCIS’ new building (Marston Road)
1300 – 1400 Lunch
1400 – 1445 Keynote:
Professor Anthony Heath (Director of the Centre for Social Investigation, Nuffield College, University of Oxford)
1445 – 1545 Academic Responses and Q&A:
Professor Alison Shaw (Professor, Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies)
Dr Nabil Khattab
(Associate Professor for Sociology, Doha Institute for Graduate Studies)
Asma Khan (PhD Candidate, Islam-UK Centre, Cardiff University)
1545 – 1600 Tea
1600 – 1700 Practitioner Panel & Q&A:
– Iqbal Nasim (National Zakat Foundation)
– Heather Knight (Islamic Relief UK)
– Shaz Manir (Amirah Foundation)
1700 Closing remarks .