With the media awash with lurid representations of Islam’s sexual politics, this timely panel discussion hopes to offer a more level-headed assessment to promote better understanding of sex and relationships within the religion. There are tough questions to ask about Islam’s attitudes towards contemporary sexual practices, the relationship between the sexes, sex before marriage, masturbation, homosexuality and more.

Featuring Shanon Shah, Imam Alyas Karmani, Lancaster University’s Shuruq Naquib and moderator Abdul-Rehman Malik, our panel will explore these complex questions as they look frankly at sex and Islam. They’ll touch on inequality, inclusion and exclusion, as well as LGBT issues and where they fit within the sexual and emotional dynamics of Islam, and what sex and sexuality mean for Muslims of any orientation in their day-to-day observation of their faith.

It’s everything you ever wanted to know about sex and Islam (but were too afraid to ask).


Alyas Karmani

Alyas Karmani is an Imam and Khateeb at a number of UK Mosques. He has a psychology background with close to 20 years’ experience of counselling and therapy work focusing on Muslims’ mental health and emotional wellbeing, and is currently a consultant for West Yorkshire and London Probation Service, aiding in the resettlement and reintegration of Muslim Offenders.

About The Academics

Shuruq Naguib

Shuruq Naguib is a lecturer in Islamic studies in the department of politics, philosophy and religion at Lancaster University. Dr Naguib has published on subjects including purity in Qur’anic exegesis; rhetorical interpretation of the Qur’an in the post-classical period and conceptions of God in British Islam. She is the co-chair of the British Association for Islamic Studies.


Shanon Shah

Shanon Shah is the author of The Making of a Gay Muslim: Religion, Sexuality and Identity in Malaysia and Britain and a deputy editor of Critical Muslim, the acclaimed quarterly publication of the Muslim Institute. He is also an award-winning singer-songwriter and playwright.

About The Journalist

Abdul-Rehman Malik

Abdul-Rehman Malik is a journalist, educator and organiser. He contributes to national and international publications and is a regular panelist on the BBC World Service’s Weekend World Today show; his ‘Pause for Thought’ radio column also airs regularly on BBC Radio 2. He works with young people in exploring Muslim identity through drama and is a speaker on faith issues.