Islamophobia: Discourse, Debates, and Future Directions

Event date
15 March 2023
Event time
17:00 - 19:00
Oxford week
HT 9
Bonavero Institute of Human Rights - Sir Joseph Hotung Auditorium

Dr. Suriyah Bi, Lecturer, Cultural Geography, University of Oxford; 

Lord Wajid Khan Shadow Spokesperson for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, House of Lords; 

Professor Tariq Modood, Professor of Sociology, Politics, and Public Policy, University of Bristol

Notes & Changes

This talk will begin at 17:00 and end at 18:00. From 18:00 to 18:30 there will be a Q&A, before a drinks reception from 18:30 to 19:00 in the lower atrium.

In honour of the first ever United Nations Day to Combat Islamophobia, we are hosting this panel discussion to highlight Islamophobia at both local and global geographies, and discuss the phenomenon within a political, presentational, and prosecution frameworks. We will be joined by the UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom and Religious Belief, Professor Nazila Ghanea, Professor Tariq Modood, and Lord Wajid Khan of Burnley, Shadow Spokesperson for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities in the House of Lords. The event will be co-chaired by Professor Tarunabh Khaitan, Head of Research, Bonavero Institute of Human Rights (University of Oxford), and Dr Suriyah Bi, Lecturer in Cultural Geography and Founder of the Equality Act Review. 



Photo of Nazila Ghanea

Professor Nazila Ghanea, UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom and Religious Belief 

On 1 August 2022, Prof. Nazila Ghanea assumed her mandate as UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief. She is Professor of International Human Rights Law and Director of the MSc in International Human Rights Law at the University of Oxford. Her academic work has often connected with multilateral practice in international human rights law. She has contributed actively to networks interested in freedom of religion or belief and its interrelationship with other human rights and has advised states and other stakeholders. She has researched and published widely in international human rights law and served as consultant to numerous agencies.

Photo of Lord Wajid Khan

Lord Wajid Khan 

Lord Khan is currently a Shadow Spokesperson for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities in the House of Lords. He has previously served as a Member of the European Parliament where he was spokesperson for human rights for His Majesty's Opposition. He has served as the Mayor of his hometown Burnley and has spent 16 years serving in local government. He was also an unfortunate recipient of the Punish a Muslim Day Letter in 2018. 

Photo of Tariq Modood

Professor Tariq Modood

Tariq Modood is Professor of Sociology, Politics and Public Policy and founding Director of the Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship at the University of Bristol and the co-founder of the journal, Ethnicities. He has held 40+ grants and consultancies, has 35+ (co-)authored and (co-)edited books and reports and 300+ articles and chapters. He was ranked #131 in the world (#19 in UK) in the Research.Com citations 2022 ranking for Law, Politics, Sociology and Social Policy. His work is frequently cited by policy-makers and practitioners and on several occasions has influenced policy.

He was appointed a MBE by the Queen for services to social sciences and ethnic relations in 2001, made a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (UK) in 2004 and elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2017. His latest books include Essays on Secularism and Multiculturalism (2019), Multiculturalism: A Civic Idea (2nd ed; 2013); and as co-editor: Multiculturalism and Interculturalism (2016) and The Problem of Religious Diversity: European Problems, Asian Challenges (2017); and co-edited Special Issues, Multiculturalism, Religion, Secularism and Nationalism (Ethnicities, 2021), Some forms of racism and anti-racism in Asia and the Middle East: Beyond the Euro-Americancentricity (Political Quarterly, 2022) and The Governance of Religious Diversity: Global Comparative Perspectives (Religion, State and Society, 2022). He has a YouTube Channel and website.


Dr Suriyah Bi

Suriyah Bi

Dr Suriyah Bi is Cultural Geography Lecturer at the School of Geography adn the Environment, at the University of Oxford, and Tutortial Fellow at Mansfield College. She is a social anthropologist and human geographer with research interests in Migration and Diaspora Studies, British Muslim Studies, Gender Studies, Inequality and Social Policy, and Decolonisation. She founded the Equality Act Review in 2018, through which she campaigns to strengthen the Equality Act, and to reduce the gap between social research and policy implementation. In 2022, she published the world's first index for any hate crime,the Index of Islamophobia, which was featured in the Guardian. She currently has two forthcoming books titled "Bartered Bridegrooms: Muslims Masculinity in marriage Migration", and "The Racialisation of Islam: British Muslims as Tools for Nation Making". 

Professor Tarun Khaitan

Tarun Khaitan

Professor Tarun Khaitan is the Head of Research at the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights at the University of Oxford, the Professor of Public Law and Legal Theory at the Faculty of Law at Oxford, a Fellow at Mansfield College, and an Honorary Professorial Fellow at Melbourne Law School. He specialises in legal theory, constitutional studies, and discrimination law. He is the founding General Editor of the Indian Law Review and founder & advisor of the Junior Faculty Forum for Indian Law Teachers. He sits on the advisory board of the International Journal of Comparative Law, is a member of the European University Institute's Research Council, and is a trustee of the Equal Rights Trust.

He completed his undergraduate studies (BA LLB Hons) at the National Law School (Bangalore) in 2004 as the 'Best All Round Graduating Student'. He then came to Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and completed his postgraduate studies (BCL with distinction, MPhil with distinction, DPhil) at Exeter College. Before joining Bonavero Institute, he was the Penningtons Student (Fellow) in Law at Christ Church and then a Tutorial Fellow in Law (with tenure) at Wadham College. Previously, he has also been the Vice Dean of the Oxford Law Faculty, an Australian Research Council Future Fellow at Melbourne Law School, a Global Visiting Professor of Law at NYU Law School, and the Walter V. Schaefer Visiting Professor of Law at Chicago Law School.

His research has been cited by the Indian Supreme Court (in four separate cases: 1, 23, and 4), the Canadian Supreme Court, the European Court of Human Rights, the Israeli Supreme Court, the Madras High Court (in two separate cases: 12), and the Kerala High Court. His monograph entitled A Theory of Discrimination Law (OUP 2015 hbk, South Asia edition and Oxford Scholarship Online, 2016 pbk) has been reviewed very positively in leading journals, including in Law and Philosophy, where Sophia Moreau said "In this magnificent and wide-ranging book ... Khaitan attempts what very few others have tried." In Ethics, Deborah Hellman said that its 'ambitious scope and the careful argumentation it contains make it one of the best in the field’.  In his review in the Modern Law Review, Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen claimed that "Khaitan's account is sophisticated, extensive and among the best normative accounts of discrimination law available." Colm O'Cinneide's review in the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies says that "Khaitan’s quest shows up the inadequacies of previous attempts to track down this Holy Grail, and the path he has laid down will encourage others to follow in his footsteps." The book won the Woodward Medal (with a cash prize of 10,000 Australian dollars) in 2019 for making ‘a significant contribution to knowledge in a field of humanities and social sciences.’ A full list of reviews is available here.

Prof Khaitan was awarded the 2018 Letten Prize, a 2 Million Norwegian Kroner award given biennially to a young researcher under the age of 45 conducting excellent research of great social relevance. He is using a part of the award towards setting up the Indian Equality Law Programme, aimed at capacity-building for early-career scholars. In 2020, he was awarded the Excellence in Engagement award by the University of Melbourne. Prof Pratap Bhanu Mehta said in the context of this award that “No discussion of the rights of minorities in India is now conceivable without engaging with his conceptual and legal arguments”. At Oxford, he received the Oxford Policy Engagement Fellowship Award in 2020 and a special mention by the O2RB Excellence in Impact Award in 2021. He helped draft the Indian Anti-Discrimination and Equality Bill 2017. He writes regularly for newspapers and blogs: links to his columns are available here. His podcast course on Indian constitutionalism (in Hindi), संविधान संवाद, can be downloaded here. He has served on the advisory board of the United Nation’s Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner’s effort to draft ‘A Practical Guide to Developing Comprehensive Anti-Discrimination Legislation’.

Found within

Human Rights Law