Series Convenors: Mustapha Sheikh and Taj Islam
If education is meant to promote both identity formation (socialisation) and change (the realisation of the unfolding potential of the individual), then in no sphere of education is this more urgent or more challenging than in Religious Studies. However, against the backdrop of growing pressure from the government for education to be an active agent in the promotion of British values and the prevention of radicalisation, the situation becomes potentially complex and murky, and the unpacking of the ethical, sociological and political considerations involved in instrumentalising education for both identity and change becomes both important and urgent.
The purpose of this Sadler Seminar series is to begin a long term commitment towards engaging with key questions around the theme of criticality, identity and change in Religious Studies, taking the teaching of Islam in Higher Education as a starting point. There is arguably no better case-study since the Muslim problem has been the impetus for much policy formulation in the UK since at least the 7/7 bombings, and is a constant subtext to debates around terrorism and extremism, integration and British values. Building on the important work of Hefner and Zaman on madrasas (Muslim seminaries) and identity politics, a 2012 conference organised by Sheikh and Islam on the teaching of Islamic Studies in higher education, and the teaching experience of Sheikh and Islam in AIMES which has raised a number of questions to be probed in the seminars, the Sadler series will enable a number of interdisciplinary conversations exploring the implications of its overarching question:
What are the ethical implications associated with teaching Islamic Studies for the purposes of promoting criticality, identity and change?
The following research questions shall be probed:
Drawing on the large body of expertise at Leeds and AIMES wider national network, this Sadler Seminar series will constitute six round table meetings at which the recent or work-in-progress papers by seminar members will be discussed writings, and with the aim of establishing an academic network that will develop a major AHRC funding bid to examine the same theme from a multi-disciplinary perspective.
Seminars and Related Events
Being Human 2016 Festival-- From Canon to Critique: the Future of Islamic Education
Date: Saturday 19 November, 2016
Time: 11.00 - 13.00
Location: Bait ul Aman Mosque, Bradford, West Yorkshire
This event also served as the public launch of the Iqbal Centre for the Study of Contemporary Islam. A video of the lecture by Dr Tajul Islam (University of Leeds) and the dialogue between Dr Islam and Dr Mustapha Sheikh (University of Leeds) which followed can be viewed here.
Seminar 1 - The Ethics of Schooling Islam: Deploying Religious Education for Identity and Change
Date: Tuesday 6 December, 2016
Time: 14:00 - 16:00
Attendance by invitation only.
Seminar 2 - Transnational Imaginary Islamic Communities: The Ummah as vehicle for or obstacle to learning and change.
Date: Monday 13th March, 2017
Time: 15:00 - 17:00
Location: Michael Sadler SR LG.17
Attendance by invitation only.
Black Lives Matter: Bilal and the Formation of the Early Islamicate
Date: 20 March, 2017
Time: 18:30 - 20:30
Sheikh Dr. Tajul Islam (Iqbal Centre for the Study of Contemporary Islam), Professor S. Sayyid (Centre for Ethnicity and Racism Studies) and Sheikh Ahmed Haneef (Islamic Centre of England) discussed the role of Bilal in disrupting racial and social hierarchies and underwriting the egalitarianism in Muslim societies. A video of the discussion can be viewed here.