Muslim Institute and Imaan Joint Conference Programme Revealed:

Salaams

Please find the provisional programme details of the Joint Conference to be held by the Muslim Institute and Imaan.  Please spread the word and share the details – registration is still open for another 3 weeks!  For more information, please email tawseef@imaan.org.uk or samia@musliminstitute.org.

Muslim Institute and Imaan Conference programme:

Saturday 10 May 2014

 

* 9.15am: Registration opens

 

* 9.45am: Opening speech by Shanon Shah

 

* 10am: ‘The Duty to Tell the Truth: Can Islam/Sharia be Inclusive?’

Speakers: Dr Usama Hasan, Professor Ziauddin Sardar, Michael Mumisa

Chair: Dr Alev Adil

 

* 11.15: Tea break

 

* 11.30am: ‘Muslims and Refugees: Persecutory Narratives and the Trauma of Integration’

Speakers: Houyam Imaan, Tawseef Khan, Alan Morrice

Chair: Dr Samia Bano

 

* 12.30am: Lunch

 

* 1.30pm: ‘Muslim Women – Facilitating Equality, Engagement and Empowerment’

Speakers: Dr Fauzia Ahmad, Nimko Ali, Sara Khan

Chair: Farah Elahi

 

* 2.45pm: ‘Finding a Place in the Ummah: Narratives of Conversion’

Speakers: Batool Al-Toma, Merryl Wyn Davies, Dr Jamie Gilham

Chair: Suniya Qureshi

 

* 4pm: Tea break

 

* 4.15pm: ‘The Role of Self-expression in Fostering Inclusion and Understanding Within Muslim Communities’

Speakers: Dr Alev Adil, Sarah Pickthall

Chair: Hassan Mahamdallie

 

* 5.30pm – 7pm: Entertainment

 

Sunday 11 May 2014

* 9.45am: ‘On the Fringes: Who Are You to Say I’m Not a Muslim!’

Speakers: tbc

Chair: tbc

 

* 11am: Tea break

 

* 11.15am: ‘What Can Interfaith Dialogue Provide: Real Potential, Lip Service or Useless Experiments?’

Speakers: Julian Bond, Stephen Shashoua, Fiyaz Mughal, Mehri Niknam

Chair: Rania Hafez

 

* 12.30pm: Lunch

 

* 1.30pm: ‘British Muslims: Citizenship and Integration’

Speakers: Dilwar Hussain, Sunny Hundal, Dr Nasar Meer

Chair: Shanon Shah

 

* 2.45pm: ‘Can Islam Reconcile Inclusive Worship’

Speakers: Tehmina Kazi, Rabiha Hannan, Halima Hussain Karwa

Chair: Naeem Musa

 

* 4pm: Tea break

 

* 4.15pm: ‘Same-sex Marriage: The Final Frontier’

Speakers: Farouk A. Peru, Shaykh Abu Muntasir, Imam Daayie Abdullah, Leyla Jagiella

Chair: Ehsan Masood

 

* 5.30pm: Closing remarks by Professor Ziauddin Sardar

 

* 5.45pm: Close

 

Speakers

Imam Daayie Abdullah is an African-American Imam based in Washington DC.

Dr Alev Adil is Artist-in-Residence at the University of Greenwich and Principal Lecturer in Media Poetics.

Dr Fauzia Ahmad is a Lecturer at UCL’s Department of Political Science. Her research has focused on the experience of British Muslim women.

Batool Al-Toma is Director of the New Muslims Project.

Nimko Ali is a female genital mutilation survivor and campaigner.

Dr Samia Bano is a Senior Lecturer in Law at SOAS. Her research interests include the practise of Muslim family law in the UK and Europe.

Julian Bond is Director of the Christian-Muslim Forum.

Merryl Wyn Davies is co-Director of the Muslim Institute.

Dr Jamie Gilham is the author of Loyal Enemies: British Converts to Islam: 1850-1950(2014).

Rania Hafez is Senior Lecturer at the University of Greenwich and founder and director of Muslim Women in Education.

Rabiha Hannan is one of the founders of New Horizons in British Islam and co-author of Islam and the Veil (2011).

Dr Usama Hasan is an Imam and Islamic Researcher.

Sunny Hundal is a British journalist, blogger and academic. He is Editor of the political blog Liberal Conspiracy.

Dilwar Hussain is Founding Chair of New Horizons in British Islam.

Leyla Jagiella is studying for a PhD in Religious Studies and is author of the essay The Forgotten Gender in CM08: Men in Islam.

Halima Hussain Karwa works with Inclusive Mosque Initiative and focused her postgraduate research at SOAS on alternative interpretive methodologies of the Qur’an.

Tehmina Kazi is Director of British Muslims for Secular Democracy.

Sara Khan is Director of British Muslim women’s human rights organisation Inspire.

Tawseef Khan is studying for a PhD in law

Hassan Mahamdallie is co-Director of the Muslim Institute

Ehsan Masood is Editor of the Research Group of publications and a Trustee of the Muslim Institute.

Dr Nasar Meer is Reader in Social Sciences in the School of Arts and Social Sciences at Northumbria University and co-Director of the Centre for Civil Society and Citizenship.

Alan Morrice is an Advocate and Campaigner for the rights of asylum seekers and a Guardian and Advisor to youngsters struggling to negotiate the asylum system.

Fiyaz Mughal is the Founder and Director of Faith Matters.

Michael Mumisa is a PhD candidate and Cambridge special Livingstone scholar at Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge.

Shaykh Abu Muntasir is Chief Executive of JIMAS

Mehri Niknam is Founder and Executive Director of the Joseph Interfaith Foundation

Farouk A. Peru is a PhD candidate and Seminar Instructor at King’s College, London and Chairman of the Quranists Network.

Sarah Pickthall is a Digital Curator, Consultant and Community Producer. She is a descendent of Mohamed Marmaduke Pickthall

Suniya Qureshi was Executive Director of the British Pakistan Foundation for two years and is a Trustee of Learning for Life.

Professor Ziauddin Sardar is a writer, broadcaster and co-Editor of Critical Muslim.

Stephen Shashoua is Director of Three Faiths Forum

 

Imaan Retreat 2014: Fri 29th – Sun 31st August 2014

Our Community – Our Pride and Strength / ‘Mujtami’na – Fakhrina wa Quwwa’ 

Salaams All

It’s back! Imaan’s Retreat 2014. By popular demand and due to overwhelming success we have decided to hold it again this year. The energy, the spirit, the joy and the warmth experienced from the previous retreat demonstrated that there clearly is a need for this kind of event for our members.

This year’s retreat is entitled ‘Mujtami’na – Fakhrina wa Quwwa’ – Our Community – Our Pride and Strength. Community is a vital aspect of Imaan. We believe the community that we are creating needs to be celebrated. To be proud of it and build upon it so it is stronger community.

The retreat will be held between Friday 29th to Sunday 31st August 2014 at the same venue as last year, in the gorgeous Peak District, taking advantage of all that it offers – space, nature, creativity, spirituality and togetherness.

The retreat centre proved to be a safe and inviting space located in the heart of the Peak District, in Northern England, a 2 hour train journey from London and 1 hour journey from Manchester. The focus, as last year, will be on providing opportunities to replenish, reboot and boost our Imaan (faith). The program will consist of outdoor pursuits (last year’s nature trail was a blast involving the lovely locals in ‘helping’ some teams win!) arts, craft and group-based activities, all designed to raise our imaan and consciousness of our identity as LGBTQI Muslims. The day’s activities will be framed around prayer times and acts of worship.
Volunteers for all aspects of the retreat are most welcome – for leading prayers, waking folk up for Fajr, facilitating and leading arts and crafts sessions. Those with a creative and artistic talent will be harangued to perform at the popular and much loved ‘Imaan’s Talent/No Talent Show’!

Five full scholarships and five part-scholarships will be available for those needing financial assistance with the cost of the retreat, but proof will be required of neediness and will be granted on this basis. With regards to cost, the retreat is priced at £150.00 for two nights accommodation at the retreat centre, with all meals from Friday lunch until Sunday lunch being included, alongside unlimited tea and coffee. Rooms are spacious and comfortable, sleeping either two, three or four attendees. Single gendered rooms are available.

The forms can be downloaded from below.  For more details, please email shobbir@imaan.org.uk

Imaan Medical Disclosure Form 2014

Imaan_Retreat_RegistrationForm_2014

Imaan_Scholarship_Form_2014

 

Press statement: Muslim leaders should discuss sexual minority issues with empathy

Press statement: Muslim leaders should discuss sexual minority issues with empathy

Imaan is deeply disappointed with Birmingham Mosque Chairman, Dr Mohammad Naseem’s comments about the mosque’s withdrawal from hosting a BBC3 discussion on gay Muslims. The debate was to address whether it would ever be okay to be gay and Muslim, and Naseem defended the mosque’s decision by comparing being gay to being “a compulsive murderer, gambler, paedophile etc.”.

Notwithstanding Naseem’s claim that he was misquoted, we wish to highlight how his logic is used by many Muslim leaders throughout the world to justify often deadly persecution of sexual minorities. Among other things, Imaan supports numerous sexual minority asylum seekers fleeing violent persecution from their countries of origin, frequently justified in the name of Islam.

Naseem says, “There are people with homosexual tendency in Muslim countries but they respect the law and control their desire as others do.” From the cases we have encountered, compliance often has less to do with “respect” than with abject fear for their lives. We have also come across numerous cases of violent homophobia and transphobia within the UK – whether against Muslim or non-Muslim sexual minorities.

For this reason, we congratulate Asifa Lahore, a long-standing member of Imaan, for his courage in sharing his personal story and initiating this pertinent question – when will it be okay to be gay and Muslim?

We believe that the Qur’an upholds sexual diversity and does not condone persecution of any minorities, but we respect alternative readings by Muslims who dispute the presence of such a pluralistic message. We are also sensitive to how these differences in opinion can be distorted and used to misrepresent Islam in the Western mass media due to prevailing anti-Muslim attitudes. Thus, we appreciate Naseem’s difficulty in balancing his personal conscience and public voice.

We are thus encouraged by Naseem’s belief that sexual minorities should enjoy full human rights in the secular sphere. We also commend his position that homosexuality should be further studied by “specialists in the fields of zoology, botany, genetics, sociology etc.”, and that the debate should continue between them and religious leaders.

In that spirit, we implore him and other Muslim authority figures to listen to Muslim sexual minorities, in Britain and elsewhere, who believe their sexuality is a gift from Allah. Far from being a code of criminal laws, the Qur’an exhorts humanity to appreciate equality, diversity, and to debate contentious issues with decorum and mutual respect. We call on Naseem and the Birmingham Mosque to continue this dialogue in the spirit of this adab (Islamic etiquette). We would be happy to meet with Naseem to discuss the plight of Muslim sexual minorities who feel alienated or isolated from their Muslim communities.  

Demystifying Shariah Law – Workshop – London – Saturday 19th April

Ever questioned, doubted or feared what Islam says about being gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, or even just questioning? Come to Imaan’s London workshop on Saturday, 19 April 2014 for a full-day session on crucial aspects of Islamic interpretation for the lay (and gay!) Muslim. 

Please commit to attending the full day (10am – 5pm) because the discussions build systematically through each session. Venue details to be announced ASAP – we will keep all those who register informed! 

The workshop’s objectives are:
• To give an overview of how sharia laws are formulated, and how these laws vary between different Muslim societies.
• To critically examine the impact of certain interpretations of Islam on women and sexual minorities.
• To share thoughts on how Muslim sexual minorities can be protected from discrimination and harm.
• To share information on current issues in Islam throughout various Muslim societies.

To register, complete this reply form and return it to shanon@imaan.org.uk and naeem@imaan.org.uk by Friday, 4 April 2014. This information will also help us tailor the workshop to fit your needs and expectations.

1. Please tell us your age and gender (this information will help us create an environment that is as inclusive as possible). 
2. How would this workshop help you? (E.g. in your work, studies, close relationships, spiritual journey, etc. – please elaborate.)
3. Please tell us what areas of Islam and sexuality you have questions about. 
4. Are there any other specific areas you would like the workshop to focus on?

We hope you will come prepared to share in knowledge, faith and fun!

‘Diversity: The Gift of Islam': Joint Conference to by held by the Muslim Institute and Imaan

‘Diversity: The Gift of Islam': Joint Conference to by held by the Muslim Institute and Imaan

Saturday, 10 May to Sunday, 11 May 2014 10:00am to 4:00pm

We are pleased to announce an upcoming conference jointly organised by the Muslim Institute and Imaan, the British lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) Muslim organisation. The conference will take place in London on May 10th and 11th 2014.

This conference aims to explore the Islamic ethos of respect for diversity, specifically in the context of Muslims in plural societies. Imam Malik ibn Anas, the great classical scholar of Islamic jurisprudence, once asserted to the Caliph Harun al-Rashid, ‘Diversity of opinion is Allah’s gift to the ummah’.  This is the starting point for our conference, to explore how Islam can provide a space that includes and respects diversity of opinion and the plight of vulnerable minorities within Muslims communities.  Through our plenaries, workshops and informal discussions, we hope to live out and extend the Islamic values of critical inquiry, justice, community-building and learning. We hope that the cross-pollination of ideas and experiences amongst our panellists and participants will inspire us to incorporate them in the various aspects of our lives.

A joint conference of this kind is a natural collaboration for the Muslim Institute and Imaan.  The Muslim Institute emphasises the diversity and plurality of Islam and Muslims to promote dialogue, cooperation and collaboration between Muslims and other cultures, with the creation of a thriving, dynamic and forward-looking Muslim community as one of its key objectives. Similarly, one of Imaan’s core aims is to promote the Islamic values of peace, social justice and tolerance through its work, and aspires to bring about a world that is free from prejudice and discrimination against all Muslims.

Thus, the coming together of the two organisations is an exciting opportunity to bring together a variety of scholars, leaders and activists to share how diversity can be embraced in practical, do-able ways in contemporary Muslim societies.  Topics covered will include overcoming sectarian divisions among Muslims, upholding gender equality and justice, the treatment of Muslims sexual minorities, and re-engaging young British Muslims on Islam.

The two-day Conference will stress the Islamic ethos of respect, justice and tolerance, focused on the humanisation of all minorities, and will be independent from any political affiliation.  The Conference Registration
Fee is £30 per person (with a £15 Concessionary Fare for students, asylum seekers and the unwaged).  These fees will be used to cover Speakers’ and venue costs and will include lunch on both days.

To register, please complete the registration form and email to tawseef@imaan.org.uk or samia@musliminstitute.org.

For further information or queries, to volunteer your skills, experience or time for the Conference, please do not hesitate to contact us on the above details.

2014 MI-Imaan Conference Registration Form

Imaan AGM 2014

Salaam everyone,

We are pleased to announce the 2014 Imaan AGM.

Date: Saturday 18th January 2014

Time: 11:30 to 16:00 – immediate start and finish is essential

Venue: Positive East, 159 Mile End Road, London E1 4AQ

Nearest Station: Stepney Green

Please find the AGM agenda as mentioned below.

Reports from the Board of Trustees will be distributed shortly, but
most importantly, please note the date and time in your diaries.

This is the opportunity for the trustees to account for the business
and finances of the last 12 months and for members to put their
questions, concerns or general feedback in the open.
We will be
introducing in the new board of trustees and proposing the new positions
that have been put forward by members during the election process.
We will also be reviewing the new constitution and (by popular demand) the eligibility criteria.

As a further token of appreciation for the community’s growth and in
the spirit of the gathering, we will be catering food for all attendees!

Please note that our good friends at Positive East have agreed to open
up especially for Imaan, so in respect to their time and generosity, the
meeting will start at 11:30pm and it will finish at 16:00pm. Please
arrive for a prompt start!

Please let us know if you are willing and able to attend, so we can plan for food – info@imaan.org.uk

If you would like to raise a particular concern or question, please
contact the Chairperson – tawseef@imaan.org.uk or Secretary -
frankie@imaan.org.uk

We hope to see you on the day!

Wasalaam,

Imaan

AGM Agenda

1.        Welcome
2.        Approval of Last Year’s AGM Minutes
3.        Trustee Report from Previous BOT
4.        Discussion and Approval of Accounts for last 12 months
5.        Retreat Feedback

Lunch Break

6.        Confirmation of Election Results
7.        Discussion and Approval of New Positions, Agreeing Nomination/Election
Dates

8.        Roles and Responsibilities Discussion and Approval
9.        Eligibility Criteria Discussion and Approval
10.        Constitution Discussion and Approval
11.        AOB

*Please review documents attached

Model ConstitutionConstitution 2013

Constitution 2013

Imaan General Election 2013

IMAAN GENERAL ELECTION 2013

Imaan is pleased to announce the commencement of its 2013 general board
of trustees’ election. For the next term, eligible members of Imaan will
elect the board of trustees to represent the respective positions
beginning in January 2014.

The election process will proceed as follows:

Nomination period
– At this stage all nominees must complete and return the nomination
forms to the independent returning officer. There are two forms
available for nomination.

- “Nomination form 2013.doc” is to be
completed by those candidates who wish to stand for the currently
existing positions on Imaan’s board of trustees.

- “New position
form 2013.doc” is to be completed by those who wish to propose a new
position/role that does not currently exist on Imaan’s board of
trustees. Please note that any new position that is proposed will need
to be approved at the following AGM after which another election process
will be undergone for it.

All completed forms must be given to the independent returning officer.

Voting period
– At this stage all eligible candidates that have applied to stand for a
position on the board of trustees will be announced. The membership
will then begin to put in their votes for their respective candidates.
All votes must be given to the independent returning officer only.
The voting period will be open for duration of four weeks from commencing.

Results
– At this stage, once the independent returning officer has tallied all
votes, the successful candidates for the respective positions will be
announced. At the next Annual General Meeting, the newly elected board
members will be declared in.

Independent Returning Officer
All forms, votes, and queries regarding elections must be directed to the independent returning officer. Imaan takes no responsibility for lost or mislaid nomination forms and the deadline will be strictly enforced.

Details of the independent returning officer:
Name: Michelle Defontaine
Affiliated to: Positive East
Email address: returningofficer@imaan.org.uk

Current positions on the Board of Trustees:
– Chairperson
– Secretary
– Treasurer
– Women’s Officer
– Welfare Officer
– Two positions for Member’s Representative

Key Dates:
Nomination period starts – 9th of October 2013
Nomination period ends – 30th of October 2013
Voting period starts – 8th of November 2013
Voting period ends – 7th of December 2013
Results Announced – 19th of December 2013
New board declared in at AGM – 18th of January 2014

Please
find details for the election and the roles and responsibilities for
the current positions in “Election Procedure.doc” and the constitution
“Constitution 2013.pdf”.

For any further information regarding
the elections, please only contact the independent returning officer:
returningofficer@imaan.org.uk

If you would like to make a difference, then InshaAllah we would love to see you get involved!

Please be advised to read Imaan’s constitution before nominating or voting!!

Constitution 2013

Election procedure

Nomination form 2013

New position form 2013

Imaan Announces 2013 Retreat – ‘Benaa Majtamaa – Building a Community’.

Benaa Majtamaaa

 

Salaams All

 

In 2012, Imaan took a vital and ultimately, highly successful step in building an LGBTQI Muslim community in the UK.  Our 5th International Conference was attended by over 70 people and through a number of historical milestones over the course of this wonderful four-day weekend, we began to tentatively formulate a community, mujtamaa, an Ummah of our own.

 

As a result, in 2013, we wish to provide an opportunity to strengthen this ummah, build upon the success of the previous year and collectively increase our love, spirit and imaan (faith).  Consequently, we are holding a retreat-weekend, entitled ‘Benaa Majtamaa’, ‘Building a Community’.  Held between Friday 30th August to Sunday 1st September at a centre in the Peak District, we hope that our retreat will be invigorating and energising, allowing existing friends to re-connect and for new friends to become a part of our collective and to understand why the Imaan family is such a special entity.

 

The retreat centre is a safe and inviting space located in the heart of the Peak District, in Northern England, a 2 hour train journey from London and 1 hour journey from Manchester.  With less focus on sharing knowledge through lectures and workshops, the retreat is for the soul.  The retreat also exists as an opportunity to withdraw from the strain of every day demands and routine.  Instead, we have a program of outdoor, art, craft and group-based activities, all designed to raise our imaan and consciousness of our identity as LGBTQI Muslims.

 

Five full scholarships and five part-scholarships will be available for those needing financial assistance with the cost of the retreat, but proof will be required of neediness and will be granted on this basis.  With regards to cost, the retreat is priced at £150.00 for two nights accommodation at the retreat centre, with all meals from Friday dinner until Sunday lunch being included, alongside unlimited tea and coffee.  Rooms are spacious and comfortable, sleeping either three or four attendees.  Single gendered rooms are available.

 

The Forms are available here:

Imaan Medical Disclosure Form

Imaan_Scholarship_Form_2013

Imaan_Retreat_Registration_2013

Imaan News

Imaan, Europe’s largest support group for LGBT Muslims  attended IGLYO CONFERENCE “KEEP THE FAITH”

Keep the Faith: promoted inter-religious and inter cultural dialogue in the LGBTQ youth sector” it took place in Brussels, Belgium from October 31st till November 4th, 2012. The conference was organized in partnership with IGLYO’s Belgian member Wel Jong Niet Hetero (Young But Not Straight).  Imaan looks forward to developing future networks across Europe  and the World to develop this important dialogue.

Imaan Conference

Imaan, Europe’s largest support group for LGBT Muslims announced its 5th International conference in London, at which Gay Muslims and Islamic Scholars from around the world explored the diversity and inclusivity found within contemporary Islamic culture

The 5th International conference held in  London over a 100 registrations. The Imaan Conference is pioneering as the leading support group for LGBT Muslims. Despite tight budgets, leaders, participants and Islamic Scholars traveled from around the world and from the UK.They learned and participated in sharing knowledge in the wider Islamic discourses. The event  delivered practical , diversity of thinking and a breadth of knowledge, all with an emphasis on empowering Muslim Communities.

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