26 January 2011
Student Islam conference welcomes Lauren Booth
Writer and broadcaster Lauren Booth, who converted to Islam last year, will be the keynote speaker at the fifth annual University of Essex Islamic Society Conference next month.
Organised by students from the University’s Islamic Society, the one-day event on 12 February will focus on bridging relations between Muslims and non-Muslims and is open to the public.
Lauren Booth, who has written for The New Statesman and The Sunday Times, is currently a columnist for the Mail on Sunday. She also presents In Focus on the Islam Channel as well as The Headlines on Press TV. She is an active campaigner against the blockade of the Gaza Strip which she visited in 2008 and has supported Interpal, the Palestinian Relief and Development Fund. Her lecture, ‘My Journey to Islam,’ is one of four lectures which all address different aspects relating to the fear of Islam.
Anas AlAyed, President of the Islamic Society, explained the importance of the event: “A British Social Attitudes Survey has showed that more than half the people in Britain are strongly opposed to a mosque being built in their neighbourhood and more than a third of Britons report feeling ‘cool’ towards Muslims. We hope to open up a discussion about whether or not Britain is anti-Muslim.”
“Islam is at the heart of so many global issues from the so-called war on terror, to the Middle East peace process and even the future of Europe. Here in Britain much of the debate over terrorism and extremism, as well as race, immigration and multiculturalism, revolves rightly or wrongly around Muslim communities.”
The conference also includes lectures by Jalal Ibn Saeed, founder of Al Fitrah Family, an organisation aimed at bettering the self, family and society; Adnan Rashid a Senior Researcher at the Hittin Institute and expert on the history of Islamic civilisation; and writer and broadcaster Khola Hasan who is Director of Albatross Consultancy Limited and an Executive Member of the East London Three Faiths Forum.
The University of Essex Islamic Society Conference, ‘Islam: Fear or Not to Fear,’ will be held at the Ivor Crewe Lecture Hall at the University’s Colchester Campus on 12 February 2011. It is open to the public and admission is free but registration is advised. For further information, and to book a place, see: www.essexisoc.com/ueic/.
Notes to editors
For further information contact Anas AlAyed, President of the Islamic Society, telephone: 07831 888565 or e-mail: Islamic@essex.ac.uk.