On 2nd May 2009 Ishtiaq Hussain, a trainer from Quilliam’s Outreach and Training Unit, was invited by the United Nations Society of Durham University to speak on ‘The Impacts of Political Islam’.


The talk focused on the emergence of Islamism as a modern political movement that was initially a reaction to European Imperialism. The history of Islamist movements was discussed in detail as well as the problems that have historically arisen when people attempt to politicise faith.  As well as looking at the styles and methods used by Islamist groups, their core arguments were deconstructed and shown to be ideas that had no real basis in traditional Islamic theology.


During the lively Q & A session scriptural refutations of Islamist thought were presented and misconceptions about the relationship between Islam and politics were dispelled. The talk also discussed Islamist attempts at misrepresenting Muslim history by portraying Muslim empires as Islamist states.


Ishtiaq Hussain was kindly presented with a watercolour painting by the United Nations society at the end of the event.


Feedback from a member of Durham University’s Student Union Executive:


“The other Exec members and I all seem to especially like the way you combined your personal experiences with background information on Islam, radicalization and current developments.  The short film clips definitely added variety and fun to the event, and got people talking (it’s impossible not to have an opinion on some of them!) And of course the Q & A session, which covered so many different topics. We think the event was a great success and cannot thank you enough for your contribution! We wish you and your colleagues the very best in your noble endeavors. Thank you!”