Iqbal Centre for the Study of Contemporary Islam


Being Human 2016 festival

Canon to critique: the future of Islamic education

Saturday 19 November 2016


Bait ul Aman Mosque, Bradford, West Yorkshire

For at least a decade there has been a growing movement of young Muslims across all regions of the UK who choose to travel abroad to study at religious seminaries (madrasa) across the Muslim world. However, the madrasa system is controversial as, on the one hand, it is perceived in the West as a conduit of extremism and, on the other, an institution lacking pedagogic criticality. In a lecture by Dr Tajul Islam, followed by a one-to-one conversation between Dr Tajul Islam and Dr Mustapha Sheikh, probing questions will be asked about the classical madrasa model and the ways that canonical texts are taught within it; the problems associated with non-critical engagement with canonical texts in pedagogic settings; and ways of approaching the texts from a position of both critical engagement and sensitivity/respect.

This event will also serve as the public launch of the Iqbal Centre for the Study of Contemporary Islam.

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Schooling Islam: Criticality, Identity, Change

If education is meant to promote both identity formation (socialisation) and change (the realisation of the unfolding potential of the individual), then in no sphere of education is this more urgent or more challenging than in Religious Studies. However, against the backdrop of growing pressure from the government for education to be an active agent in the promotion of British values and the prevention of radicalisation, the situation becomes potentially complex and murky, and the unpacking of the ethical, sociological and political considerations involved in instrumentalising education for both identity and change becomes both important and urgent.

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