Cultural Education Event: Narrative of Conversion to Islam: Female Perspectives. Oct 2013

Narratives of Conversion to Islam - Access audio from event


The event invited the public, interested organisations and academics to join the special roundtable discussion reflecting on a report focussed on the experiences of nearly 50 British women of all ages, ethnicities, backgrounds and faiths (or no faith) – who have all converted to Islam. The questions it raises from a Scottish perspective were explored. Published by the Centre of Islamic Studies at the University of Cambridge, in association with the New Muslims Project, Markfield, the full report is available to download‌‌.

‌‌‌This event was hosted by Dr Saeko Yazaki (left), a Fellow in Theology and Religious Studies, and built on her work at Cambridge University with the Centre of Islamic Studies (which also helped to support the event). In May this year the centre launched the report based on discussions held over seven days with fifty female Muslim converts. The report has since been downloaded over 55,000 times and was also accompanied by an article in The Guardian newspaper, as well as other media attention. However, many of the comments that this article received were negative, even hostile, so the issue is worth exploring further, with new audiences, particularly to address the questions it raises in a Scottish context.‌

‌‌‌The Panel: by bringing together Professor Yasir Suleiman (left in image to the right) director of the Centre of Islamic Studies at Cambridge and leader of the ‘Narratives’ project, with two of the participants Erica Timoney (2nd from left) and Marion Cobban (3rd from left), the event combined the academic with the personal. Fariha Thomas (right) the Labour Councillor for Govan and a Muslim convert herself, also gave her comments on the report and her own experience, bringing in the political element too.  

(Audio kindly recorded by Haq Ghani, Head of Program Production, Radio Islam - Scotland. Images curtesy of Karen Gordon. )

This event review is also available via the College of Arts KE blog.

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