On the 11th January 2017, Faith Associates and Imams Online hosted a ‘Digital Summit’ at Google UK’s London Event Space which was attended by over 150 attendees.
This event, which was supported in-kind by Google UK, bought together a diverse cross-section of the Muslim community which included senior religious leaders, male and female scholars, community activists, civil society actors, heads of charities, technologists, students and educationalists to a day of panel discussions and presentations focussed on some of the most pressing issues affecting the Muslim community today.
The event was attended by representatives from across some the UK’s key cities as well as attendees from European countries.
The event was centred around 4 key panel discussions that had speakers and panellists representing media, government, social media, education, faith institutions, universities and political think tanks. The 4 discussions were entitled:
- Technology & Education
- Social Media Policy & Safety Discussion
- Extremism, Islamophobia and Rise of the Far Right
- Emerging Trends and Challenges for Muslims in the Media
The open floor nature of the event allowed participants the opportunity to engage in a robust conversation with panellists to present their ideas and talk through some of the challenges and key concerns they had. With executives from social media companies and senior policy makers from government present, attendees took their opportunity to get to the root of some of the main issues and concerns affecting them.
Some of the questions that were posed to the panelists focused on the Prevent programme with participants questioning the ambiguity around definitions, a seeming lack of community collaboration in shaping and implementing the strategy and the perception of suspicion and confusion that exists around the programme. There were also questions focussing on the relationships between social media companies and intelligence services and the need for more Muslim representation in mainstream media.
Feedback from participants at the event was positive with participants encouraged by the frankness of conversations taking place and appreciative of the opportunity to network with individuals, institutions and organisations from within the Muslim community that are breaking the mold and delivering innovative practical solutions to teaching and engaging a wider audience.
Joe Dobson, Director of the Islamic Society of Britian tweeted,
“Very robust debate @ImamsOnline conference with Prevent manager & @ShirazMaher, @AkeelaAhmed @TahirAbbas_ better 2 debate than talk to ourselves”
Emad Mostaque tweeted,
“Interesting @ImamsOnline conference @Google HQ today. Some fantastic projects being undertaken to dispel myths and help Muslim community”.
The Global Human Development Foundation tweeted,
“@ImamsOnline well done for organising an excellent summit, we enjoyed the discussions and the creative work of @PeterGouldArt”.
Palmers Green Mosque tweeted,
The Summit also saw the exclusive launch heard from key participants of Imams Online’s upcoming online video series ‘What British Muslims Really Do’. The series highlights the incredible contributions Muslim faith leaders make to their communities across some of the UK’s most iconic and populated cities.
The full list of speakers on the day included:
- Shaykh Amer Jamil – Co-Founder, iSyllabus
- Dr Musharraf Hussain – CEO, Karimia Institute
- Peter Gould – Creative Designer & Entrepreneur
- Michael Milo – CEO, MiloProductions inc.
- Shaykh Abdul Hameed – Course Instructor, Qur’an Academy
- Shaykh Haroon Sidat – Lecturer, Jamiatul ilm-wal Huda
- Nick Pickles – Head of UK Public Policy, Twitter
- Karim Palant – Public Policy Manager, Facebook
- Naomi Gummer – Head of UK Public Policy, Google
- Dr Shiraz Maher – Deputy Director, ICSR
- Matt Collins – Director of Prevent Delivery Unit, OSCT
- Akeela Ahmed – Advisor, Cross Goverment Working Group on Anti Muslim Hatred
- Professor Tahir Abbas – Senior Research Fellow, RUSI
- Saba Zaman – Assitant Producer (Radio), CTVC
- Dr Bilal Hassam – Assistant Producer, BMTV
- Navid Akhtar – CEO, Alchemiya
- Imam Qari Muhammad Asim – Makkah Mosque, Leeds
- Video Message from Shaykh Edris Khamissa.
See below for a range of pictures from the day