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Beyond the Promise of Secularism

Venue: Birkbeck Main Building

In response to an event called 'Sharia, Segregation and Secularism' that emphasises "the importance of secularism as a minimum precondition for equality" we will be exploring Western preoccupations with 'Sharia Law', hijabs, and segregation. In particular, we will look at the ways in which Islam is pitted against 'secularism' in the name of women's rights, equality and democracy, and how these are utilised and weaponised by the State against Muslim communities and other minorities to promote nationalist narratives.

We are interested not in taking sides on whether one should or should not be ‘secular’, but to explore where this concept came from in the first place, and how it has been mobilised by both the religious and non-religious to justify certain kinds of power, and certain kinds of violence across history and to this day. Being unaware of this can lead to misleading ideas which play into the hands of harmful narratives about our communities.

Inclusive Mosque Initiative's sixth event in the #RaiseYourGaze series is in collaboration with Kent Law School and the Birkbeck Centre for Research on Race and Law. 

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