Past Events

The City Circle is an open circle for open minds

Muslim participation in public life

Date: Friday 18 August 2017

Time: 18.45 - 20.30

Venue: Abrar House, 45 Crawford Place, London W1H 4LP

Speakers: Miqdaad Versi, Esmat Jeraj, Aamirah Patel


There are over 3 million Muslims living in the UK, and having had a presence here for several centuries, Muslims make a significant contribution to the country. Muslims form one of the most diverse communities in the UK and, for the last 50 years, British Muslim citizens have been active across a wide range of professions in the public and private sectors.

But why, over the last 10 years, have British Muslims felt they cannot participate or are not encouraged to participate fully in public life in the UK? Could it be due to the negative shift in the dominant narrative of the media and public officials? How can we find ways of encouraging full and active participation in all communities? How can we challenge the system and narratives that threaten this? And how can we promote the many examples of good practice by Muslim communities?

This talk follows the publication of the recent Citizens UK report Missing Muslims, which through its recommendations, seeks to enable British Muslims to develop confidence in their equal standing as citizens of the UK. It also aims to provide the wider population with the confidence to see British Muslims as an integral part of society.

Speakers

Esmat Jeraj, Project Manager & Secretariat - Citizens Commission on Islam, Participation and Public Life, Citizens UK

Esmat is an activist working in leadership roles both in the Muslim community and in broader community contexts. Her background is in public relations, and she has undertaken national research on barriers to Muslim participation, leading to the production of the Missing Muslims report. She is an active campaigner on a number of social justice issues. Alongside utilising media to raise broader awareness of key issues and to affect change, she has spoken at universities and other public seminars on issues pertaining to Islam and Muslims in Britain and abroad. She sits on the Executive for the Patchwork Foundation, which seeks to engage young people from under-privileged communities with politics, and acts as a consultant on media, strategy and communications for a number of charities. Esmat also facilitates leadership development training for young people exploring issues such as power, privilege and understanding self.

Miqdaad Versi, Management Consultant, Assistant Secretary General, Muslim Council of Britain

Miqdaad is an independent management consultant focussed on strategy and analysis, having studied Mathematics at the University of Oxford. He currently serves as the Assistant Secretary General for the Muslim Council of Britain, leading on Islamophobia and counter- extremism. He regularly writes for the Guardian and Independent, and is a trustee of Rights Watch UK.

Aamirah Patel, Co- founder, Muslim Women Connect

Aamirah is an activist working to build supportive platforms for Muslim women. She cofounded Muslim Women Connect, an initiative bringing together Muslim women from a broad range of careers and different walks of life in order to network, connect with and nurture the next generation of Muslim women, leading to the mentoring programme. Her background is in campaigns, looking at new and effective ways to engage the public about global injustice. She facilitates training with a number of organisations and sits on the Board of Trustees at Restless Development, the youth led development agency, which seeks to unleash the power of young people globally to change the world.

Additional details

Free entrance. All welcome. Prayer space available. Street parking free from 18:30. Doors open at 18:45 and the talk begins at 19:00. If you have any questions, please contact the event organiser: [email protected].

Image credit: Rooful Ali