Islamism,  Secularism

Islam in a Secular Europe

Venue: Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL
Date: 16th September 2011
Time: 6:30pm for 7:00pm start – 9:30pm

  • Does the religious freedom of Muslims in Europe depend on secularism?
  • Are veil and burkha bans secularist or counter-secularist?
  • What should the relationship be between sharia rules and secular law?
  • Should the state fund Islamic schools if it funds Christian ones?
  • Can secularism admit any limitations on freedom of expression in religious matters?
  • Is there a clash of cultures between European values and Islamic ones?

British Humanist Association and Central London Humanists in association with Conway Hall present this panel discussion which aims to bring together key speakers to explore the effect of secular democracy in Europe.


Member and students’ tickets: £5 for members of the BHA, AHS, South Place Ethical Society, or Central London Humanist Group.

General ticket: £10

About the chair

Rashad Ali is a former leading counter-Secular propagandist for Hizb Ut Tahrir and has lectured and taught in Saudi Arabia. After being indoctrinated by Hizb ut-Tahrir and involved with non-violent extreme political parties for several years he subsequently renounced Islamist extreme political ideas for a more traditional version of Islam that he believes promotes harmony and tolerance. Rashad Ali is currently a consultant at CENTRI (Counter Extremism Consultancy, Training, Research and Interventions).

About the panel

Yahya Birt is the Commissioning Editor at Kube Publishing, which publishes books on Muslim history, current affairs, biography, poetry, books for young people as well as on religious topics. He has written over a dozen academic articles on aspects of Muslim life in Britain. He recently co-edited British Secularism and Religion: Islam, Society and the State.

Sir David Blatherwick, Diplomat, writer and distinguished supporter of Humanism. Sir David joined the Foreign Office in 1964 and served in London, Kuwait, Dublin, Cairo, Belfast, UK Mission to the UN, and New York. He has also held the post of Principal Finance Officer and Chief Inspector, Ambassador to the Republic of Ireland, and Ambassador to Egypt, and is currently a Trustee for the British University in Egypt.

Humeira Iqtidar, lecturer at King’s College London and author of Secularising Islamists? Jamaat-e-Islami and Jamaat-ud-Dawa in Pakistan, University of Chicago Press, 2011.

Maleiha Malik, Professor in Law at King’s College London. She currently teaches courses in Jurisprudence and Legal Theory, Discrimination Law and European Law.

Maryam Namazie is a well-known and vociferous critic of political Islam and commentator on women’s rights, violence against women, cultural relativism, secularism, Humanism, religion, and Islam. In 2005 she was the National Secular Society’s Secularist of the Year.