Seminar: Gender and Muslim Spaces: Community and Academic Perspectives

Muslims in Britain Research Network Day Seminar:
Gender and Muslim Spaces: Community and Academic Perspectives

Wednesday 29th March 2017


The University of Leeds and MBRN are delighted to share details of the programme for our forthcoming seminar,“Gender and Muslim Spaces: Community and Academic Perspectives”, which takes place on 29th March in Leeds.


You can purchase tickets via our eventbrite page:

Seminar Location:
Michael Sadler SR LG.10, Faculty of Arts, Humanities & Cultures, University of Leeds, LS2 9JT
Please see the University’s map for precise location.
(Please note the evening film showing takes place in the University of Leeds Business School (LUBS), Maurice Keyworth Building LT G.02 – full address below)

The question of gender inclusion among British Muslims is currently a high profile debate. This conference aims to unpack the many facets of this debate from a range of methodological, theoretical and community perspectives. There are three main strands to the theme:

– Academic Research and Gender Inclusion:
Given that descriptions of Muslim community life have often been unacknowledged descriptions of Muslim men, how best might that be problematised? What theoretical work needs to be done to highlight gender exclusion or inclusion more concretely? How can Muslim male and female subjectivities be better understood separately or otherwise? What impact can gender inclusion or exclusion have upon research methodologies, ethical issues, questions of access and questions of academic representation?

– Politics of Gender Inclusion and Exclusion:
What role does the issue of gender inclusion now play in questions of state policies regarding Muslims? How far is it tied to questions of securitisation and extremism? How central an issue is it in terms of discourses of Islamic reform or notions of personal authenticity in terms of new Islamic gender theology and everyday Muslim practices?

– Gender Inclusion in British Muslim Institutions, Networks and Movements:
How extensive is the drive towards gender inclusion? What enhances and retards gender inclusion? What modalities of inclusion are being undertaken? How is gender exclusion being defended or problematised?

Working Schedule:
10.30-11.00 Arrival and Networking (Michael Sadler SR LG.10)

11.00-11.15 Welcome and Introduction (Michael Sadler SR LG.10)
Dr Seán McLoughlin and Dr Carl Morris

11.15-12.15 Plenary Session 1:
Community perspectives: How can Muslim institutions and networks become more gender inclusive?
(Michael Sadler SR LG.10)
– Bana Gora (Muslim Women’s Council, Bradford)
– Imam Qari Asim (Makkah Mosque, Leeds)
– Dr Siema Iqbal (MEND, Muslim Engagement and Development)
Followed by Q&A

12.15-13.30 Lunch / Prayer / Networking
MBRN AGM (Michael Sadler SR LG.10)

13.30-14.30 Plenary Session 2:
Academic perspectives: how can research on British Muslims become more gender sensitive? 
(Michael Sadler SR LG.10)
– Poles Apart: Reflections on Fieldwork with Salafi Women and Tablighi Men – Dr Anabel Inge (King’s College London) and Riyaz Timol (University of Cardiff)
Followed by Q&A

14.30 – 16.00 Parallel Panels
Panel 1: Negotiating Gendered Muslim Spaces: Theoretical Approaches
 (Michael Sadler SR LG.10)
– Muslim Women in Britain c. 1890 to 1948: Historical Grounding for Contemporary Debate – Dr Sariya Cheruvallil-Contractor (University of Coventry)
– Dual-gendered Ethnography in Segregated Spaces – Chris Moses (University of Cambridge) and Alyaa Ebbiary (SOAS)
– Experiences of First and Second Generation Pakistani Women in Areas of High Muslim and Co-Ethnic Density – Asma Khan (University of Cardiff)
– British Muslim Woman, Building British Muslim Lives – Saleema Farah Burney (SOAS)

Panel 2: Gender, Securitization and Representation (Michael Sadler SR LG.16)
– The Transformation of British Islamic Institutions and Its Consequences for Muslim Women’s Representation in Public Life – Dr Stephen H. Jones (Newman University)
– The Securitization of British Muslim Women – Shahnaz Akhtar (University of Warwick)
– The Prevent Duty and the Securitization of the Muslim Girl and the Muslim Boy – Natalie James (University of Leeds)

Panel 3: Negotiating Access in Public and Private Spaces (Michael Sadler SR LG.17)
– Uncertain Futures? Perspectives of Female Muslim Students on Life in Britain – Dr Naomi Thompson (Goldsmiths) and Dr Stephen Pihlaja (Newman University)
– Gender, Inclusivity and UK Mosque Experiences – Halima Hussain (Inclusive Mosque Initiative)
– ‘Ethnic’ Space as ‘Religious’ Space in Queens, New York: Questioning the Meaning of Secular Space – Muntasir Sattar
– No More A Shadow: Making Space for Muslim mothers’ Narratives – Suma Din

16.00 – 16.30 Conclusion (Michael Sadler SR LG.10)
– Summary of day and Q&A
– MBRN: New Team Announcements/Future Events

16.30 Finish

18.00 – 20.00 Film Showing and Discussion
– Blessed are the Strangers (2016) – documentary screening.
“Over thirty years, two very different groups of British people become Muslim and come together to form one of Britain’s oldest and most diverse communities of Muslim converts.”
Followed by discussion and Q&A with Yahya Birt, Ahmed Peerbux, Abdalhaqq Bewley and one other.

Location for Film Showing: University of Leeds Business School (LUBS) Maurice Keyworth Building LT G.02, Moorland Rd, Leeds LS6 1AN. Please see this map.

20.00 Depart

Recommended for…
Academics, students and professionals researching Muslims and Islam in Britain
Academics, students and professionals working in Gender Studies
Practitioners, educators, journalists, policy makers
Faith leaders, inter- and intra-faith practitioners

To purchase a ticket, please go to our eventbrite page:

Conference Organisers
Seán McLoughlin (University of Leeds)
Yahya Birt (University of Leeds)
Mobeen Butt (MBRN)
Carl Morris (MBRN)
Chris Moses (MBRN)

For any queries, please contact the conference organisers: