Muslims have lived, worked, and practiced their faith in England, since the sixteenth century and today Islam is the second largest religion in the UK. Despite this, Islam is still seen as a foreign religion with many espousing the view that British and Islamic values are two opposing sets of ideals.

This panel questions whether there can be an Islam that is distinctly British, combining cultural and religious traditions to create a new, unique British Muslim identity, whether this country could one day play a key part in the progressive future of Islam, introducing female imams for example.

Alternatively, could it be that this is already happening, but going unacknowledged?  Do we ignore integrated Muslims because they don’t align with the otherness that we expect from them?

Join Qari Asim, Nick Baines and Myriam Francois, with event chair Seán McLoughlin, as they discuss how far integration is possible within the UK, and what might be holding it back.

About The Speakers

Qari Asim

Qari Asim MBE is the senior editor of, senior Imam at Makkah Mosque Leeds and a senior lawyer at DLA Piper. As an executive member of MINAB he is also a media commentator on Islamic affairs, inter-faith advisor and community activist.

Nick Baines

Nick Baines is the Bishop of Leeds. He’s an author (of six books), a broadcaster, blogger and tweeter (with 15K followers), and is a member of the House of Lords. He was previously Bishop of Bradford, Bishop of Croydon, and a Russian linguist at GCHQ (after reading German and French at Bradford University).

Myriam Francois

Myriam Francois is a writer, broadcaster and academic with a focus on current affairs.  Her writing has been featured in the Guardian, CNN, the New Arab, Jadaliyya, ABC, etc.  She is the presenter of two BBC One documentaries, The Muslim Pound and A Deadly Warning: Srebrenica Revisited.

About The Moderator

Seán McLoughlin

Seán McLoughlin lectures on religion, culture, diaspora and identity at the University of Leeds. Since the 1990s he has maintained a strong interest in representations of British Asian and British Muslim communities in Bradford. His publications include the co-edited volumes Writing the City in British Asian Diasporas (Routledge 2014); Diasporas: Concepts, Intersections, Identities (Zed Books 2010) and European Muslims and the Secular State (Ashgate 2005).