Counter-securitization among Shia Muslims in Birmingham

This paper focuses on how Shia minorities in Birmingham navigate systematic surveillance and suspicion. While general awareness of the securitization of the local Muslim population has risen significantly following the recent airing of the acclaimed NY Times / Serial podcast, “The Trojan Horse Affair,” Muslims in the city have had to grapple with being the object of securitizing rhetoric and actions for years. Over the past two decades, several police operations have targeted mosques and defamation campaigns have been launched by media outlets and political representatives, questioning the commitment of local imams to civic values, and pointing to the alleged radicalization of mosque attendees. This paper addresses how, in this context, the Shia of Birmingham organize inter-faith events, public awareness campaigns, and other initiatives to counter their securitization.

Speaker bio

Dr Guillermo Martín-Sáiz is a social anthropologist and is currently a lecturer at the Department of Theology & Religion at Durham University. His research focuses on questions of comparative religion and politics with an emphasis on Islam and the Muslim world. He has conducted ethnographic research with Islamic movements and Muslim communities between South Asia and Europe.

Seminar details

  • Date: June 14th 2023
  • Time: 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM GMT
  • Location: Inhouse – Al-Mahdi Institute (Seminar Room 1) and online (click here to join through Microsoft Teams)
  • Format: 30 – 40 minutes presentation followed by a Q&A session.
Please note that the session will be recorded and published on al-Mahdi Institute’s YouTube channel.