Most of my academic career has been in Islamic Studies, but since 2010 I have developed a wider interest in the Study of Religion. My work has always involved combining key theoretical approaches to studying religion with empirical research. I have spent several years in the field, conducting research in Britain and abroad. After spending several years interacting with Islamic radicals, I was able to interpret their social world, giving me an insight into how they became radicalized. For this reason, radical Islam was the lynchpin of my research interest during my early career, and I subsequently completed my doctorate at Royal Holloway (University of London) in this area. Since then, I have been involved in several cross-cultural research projects related to counter-terrorism and radical Islam in the private and public sectors.
I am preparing my fourth monograph, Hizb ut-Tahrir in Britain: The Rise and Fall of an Islamist Group (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming). In this book, I comprehensively examined the causes—political, social, cultural and interpersonal—of how Hizb ut-Tahrir in the UK ascended to prominence and why they rapidly declined.
My third monograph, Leaving Islamism: Narratives of British Muslims (Peter Lang, 2022), picked up from where my first monograph, Radicalism Unveiled (Routledge, 2013), left off. Leaving Islamism surveyed ex-Islamist narratives, documenting and investigating why some young British Muslims leave Islamism. My second monograph, Segregated Britain: Everyday Life in Muslim Enclaves in Modern Britain (Peter Lang, 2020), explored why many British Muslims live in separate enclaves. I conducted extensive data collection to provide a thorough and detailed account of the present social reality of Muslims living in Modern Britain.
Since October 2017, I have commissioned over 350 subject-specific expert legal reports about human rights, asylum and terrorism cases. This entailed generating expert reports on the religious and socio-political circumstances in specific countries (the UK, Pakistan, Afghanistan and India). I have carried out extensive ethnographic fieldwork in countries of origin for asylum seekers, which serves as the basis for expertise in asylum and human rights procedures. Therefore, I have applied my research knowledge and country expertise in Pakistan, India and Afghanistan to cultivate a better understanding and awareness for decision-makers in the UK Home Office Asylum Division, enabling them to make decisions and judgments on over 300 applicant cases. Therefore, my academic research has influenced legal practice and impacted the quality of the decision-making process in UK asylum and human rights court hearings.
I have spent several years developing an extensive teaching portfolio in religious studies. I am currently responsible for teaching four BA modules:
(1) Introduction to Islam
(3) Eastern religion and Philosophy
(4) Sociology of Religion
These modules examine the different dimensions of religion: how they are formed, what they mean, and how they are reformulated in the modern age. Sociology of Religion, for example, introduces students to the major theories relating religious belief and practice to social life, with a significant analytical focus on religion's social function in early and modern society. My most popular class is the Introduction to Islam module, which provides a broad overview of Islamic belief and practice by exploring the emergence and development of Islam, from its origins in the seventh century to its modern revival. The module guides students through the study of Islam: (1) it introduces students to the history and development of early and modern Islam; (2) it also examines core Islamic beliefs and practices; and (3) it investigates the wider Islamic tradition by surveying Islamic law, philosophy and mysticism. The Themes in Eastern Religions module demonstrates my ability to teach world religions. This module presents the complex and fascinating world of Eastern Religions through a historical overview of their origins, doctrines and traditions. I have developed extensive expertise and knowledge in teaching Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Shinto and Confucianism.
I am willing to supervise PhD projects in Islamic Studies and Modern Islam, particularly on radicalisation and de-radicalisation, Islamism, Muslim identity and community.
External Examiner for Undergraduate and Postgraduate programmes in the Department of Theology and Religion (University of Birmingham) 2017-2021
Tel. 01248 383721