Islam Awareness Week sees guest lectures return

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Islam Awareness Week – running from Monday, February 14 to Friday, February 18 – is being marked by a series of four talks organised by Lancaster University’s Islamic Society.

The newly elected society committee seems set to build upon the success of previous year’s lectures, having organised a combination of influential Muslim orators and University lecturers to speak at this annual event. Designed to raise awareness of the world’s second largest religion, each talk will be followed by a Q and A session as a means of encouraging positive debate.

Current Vice President of the society, Rizwaan Mohammed, stresses that all are welcome and said the society felt that “cohesion is paramount to a constructive student community”.

Events will begin on the Monday at 6pm with Shaykh Amer Jamil’s talk entitled ‘What Was Prophet Muhammad Really Like?’. Jamil is a prominent and respected Muslim scholar from Glasgow and co-founder of the Solas Foundation, which provides guidance on contemporary Islamic issues in the West.

Perhaps the most anticipated event of the week, having been advertised on several Lancaster societies’ Facebook groups, is Dr Christopher Allen’s ‘Who Is Afraid of Islamophobia?’. The University of Birmingham research fellow has conducted research into the phenomenon of Islamophobia. Specifically, he was the co-author of a publication entitled ‘Summary Report into Islamophobia in the EU After 11 September 2001’, written for the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia.

Following the theme of Islamophobia is Lancaster’s own Leon Moosavi with ‘Why Are So Many Britons Converting to Islam?’. A PhD student who is currently examining the experiences of Muslim converts in Britain, Moosavi has been interviewed by both BBC1 and The Guardian in relation to his research work.

Adam Deen, whose talk entitled The Dawkins Delusion was well attended last year, will be returning to conclude the week with The Purpose of Life. An international speaker on Muslim Apologetics (a branch of theology concerned with the rational justification of Islam), Deen has also featured several times on mainstream television.

Previous Islamic Society President Fayez Almari had been pleased at the “success” of last year’s events, adding that “feedback from those attending was that they enjoyed it very much.” All talks are in Cavendish Lecture theatre, with the exception of Monday’s, which will be held in Faraday Lecture Theatre – hot food is available to everyone who attends. Further details regarding the event can be found on the society’s website – www.lancaster.ac.uk/socs/islamic

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