Friday 28th June 2024 – Religious Extremism & Geopolitics – A Personal Journey

About the talk:

Everyone has deeply-held “sacred values”: these may be religious, political or both. Extremism, including that of the violent sort, exists across religions and the political spectrum. Hear about the speaker’s personal journey into, and out of, islamist extremism in a UK and global context since the 1970s. Find out how religious conservatism, fundamentalism, the experience of racism, and the geopolitics between the West and the Muslim world led to the radicalisation of generations of British Muslims. Hear also about how cross-cultural dialogue, friendship, love and shared values can help us to increase resilience and cohesion within our communities.

About the speaker:

Usama is a trained imam and scientist. He has served as a part-time, UK-based imam for over 40 years since the age of 11, is a certified transmitter of the Qur’an and has translated several Islamic texts into English. He is co-author, along with a Jewish professor-rabbi and a Christian theologian, of an Abrahamic dialogue book, “People of the Book: How Jews, Christians & Muslims Understand Their Sacred Scriptures” (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, now part of the Hachette Group, 2019). Since 2012, when he changed career, he has worked full-time in counter-extremism and counter-terrorism, as well as in research and analysis of the geopolitics of the Muslim world and Muslim communities in Western societies. Prior to that, Usama was Senior Lecturer in Engineering at Middlesex University (2003-2012), Planetarium Lecturer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich (2006-8), Associate Professor at the National University of Sciences & Technology, Pakistan (2002-3), and an artificial intelligence consultant in UK industry (1997-2003). He holds a PhD, MSc & MA in Physics and Artificial Intelligence from the Universities of Cambridge & London and is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, the International Society for Science & Religion, the London Society for the Study of Religion, and of the Muslim Institute.

The venue:
The Elephant And Castle
White Hill

They are £5 and you can purchase them on the door or about a week before at the venue. Please note that the capacity of the venue is limited, we recommend buying the ticket in advance to avoid disappointment.


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