6th January 2016

Quilliam is pleased to announce that we have appointed a female theologian to the post of Senior Researcher in Islamic Studies.

Farhana Mayer is an academic, interfaith activist, and Qur’an scholar, having lectured in Sufism at the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London) and worked at the Institute for Ismaili Studies. She studied Arabic and Islamic studies, specialising in Qur’anic hermeneutics, at the University of Oxford, where she received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. She is co-translator and editor of volume I of the IIS/OUP Anthology of Qur’anic Commentaries series: On the Nature of the Divine (2008), and author/translator of Spiritual Gems: The Mystical Qur’an Commentary ascribed to Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (Fons Vitae, 2011).

Farhana will contribute to theological aspects of Quilliam’s work, especially around interpretations of Islam from mystical and female perspectives, and contribute to our work to undermine extremist manipulation of scripture for their political and ideological aims. She has already been a speaker at the public launches of two Quilliam publications at the end of 2015: Caliphettes – Women and the Appeal of Islamic State and From Dhimmitude to Democracy: Islamic Law, Non-Muslims & Equal Citizenship.

Quilliam’s other theologian, Usama Hasan, commented, “We are delighted to welcome Farhana aboard. She has an excellent academic record and will contribute to many aspects of our work, including our projects to empower women, who are often the first victims of extremism, to challenge misogynist religious interpretations.”

Quilliam is also pleased to announce that Usama helped to launch the new Muslim Reform Movement (http://muslimreformmovement.org/) at the National Press Club in Washington DC on 4th December 2015. The Muslim Reform Movement Declaration (https://www.change.org/p/muslims-and-neighbors-we-support-the-muslim-reform-movement) is based around three areas: peace, human rights and secular governance.

Quilliam’s new theologian, Farhana Mayer, commented, “It is wonderful news that the Muslim Reform Movement is launched, providing a formal international forum which can bring together in cooperation the current reforming endeavours within Islam. The Muslim Reform Movement is a much needed and very welcome initiative. We look forward to working together on this ongoing progressive work that will promote sanctity of life; peace; human rights; respectful, cooperative pluralism; and the core values of good governance. Such a concerted effort by Muslims towards reform is an absolute necessity at this time.”

Quilliam would like to thank all our friends for your continuing support and wish you a Happy New Year.

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