Islam in the RE Classroom (Online)

Layal Mohammad's picture
June 25, 2022 to July 2, 2022
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
Islamic History / Studies, Religious Studies and Theology, British History / Studies

This two-day online conference aims to enhance the quality of learning and teaching about Islam in secondary schools in the UK. It engages with both the academic-theoretical and practical-pedagogical aspects of Religious Education. 

On one hand, the conference aims to make teacher-practitioners more confident in teaching about Islam in mainstream secondary schools in the UK. On the other, it aims to initiate dialogue between the key stakeholders (include curriculum designers, researchers, PGCE RE faculty and trainee teachers) to ensure that Islam is represented with greater complexity in textbooks and the classroom.

Sessions in the conference, which will include academic papers and classroom case-study presentations, will invite discussion of Islam in different cultural contexts: instead of seeing Islam as the automatic or inevitable product of a scripture, we will consider how different Islams were produced in different environments, and how these environments invited different interpretations of scripture or led certain parts of scripture to be prioritised over others.

Presentations will consider the role of hermeneutical approaches to scripture in the classroom; the role of music and art in teaching about religion and the handling of controversial material in a classroom setting. They also engage with sociological questions: the self-identity of Muslim students; of debates about radicalisation and the state’s response and the different kinds of Islamophobias that students might encounter in Britain. Speakers will also engage with recent developments in British RE that position religion as a worldview and the possibilities of exploring different disciplinary lenses within the RE classroom itself.

Keynote Speakers:

Dr Asma Hilali is Associate Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Lille. She specialises in the transmission of religious texts in medieval Islam and is the author of a detailed study of the Sana’a Palimpsest, one of the earliest Qu’ran manuscripts in existence today. (25th June).

Dr Richard Kueh is Her Majesty’s inspector of Schools and the National subject lead for Religious Education at Ofsted. He has previously been Vice-Principal of a secondary school and RE Specialist for a multi-academy trust. (25th June)

Dr Anders Ackfeldt is Deputy Director of the Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul. He specialises in the study of how Islam is expressed through the medium of hip-hop. In particular, he is interested in African-American Islam and theoretical perspectives on the study of Islam. (2nd July)

Dr Farid Panjwani is Dean of the Institute for Educational Development, Aga Khan University, in Karachi, Pakistan. He was formerly a member of the Institute of Education in London (now part of UCL) and AKU-ISMC. (2nd July)

Other Speakers:

Zameer Husain, Bob Bowie, Waqar Ahmad Ahmadi, Kate Christopher, Lynn Revell, Matt Vince, Edward Bainton, al-Karim Datoo, Saleeta Rajwani, Bruce Clements, Shabnam Khaliq, Hina Amirali, Alexis Stones, Thomas Hoffmann and Rashad Ali, Louisa Smith, Sonia Bandali, Arun Rasiah, Anil Khamis, Anar Amin, Anisha Lakhani, Nisha Dewshi, Stephen Jones, Amy Unsworth, Rubina Nooruddin, Parin Somani, Abid Raja and Suleman Pirani.

Date and Time:

Saturday 25 June and Saturday 2 July 2022, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm (London Time).


The conference is jointly hosted by the Aga Khan University's Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations (AKU-ISMC), London, and The Ismaili Tariqah and Religious Education Board (ITREB) for UK.


Register for free via Zoom.


Contact Info: 

Layal Mohammad
Senior Coordinator, Marketing & Communications
Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations
The Aga Khan University (International)
Aga Khan Centre, 10 Handyside Street, London N1C 4DN
Tel: +44 [0] 20 7380 3839
Incorporated in England as a company limited by guarantee no. 4448389 | Registered Charity Number 1179136

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