10th anniversary for University’s Centre for Study of Islam

Historic interfaith meeting marks milestone

The Centre for the Study of Islam in the UK, a world-leading research centre based at Cardiff University, will this week celebrate its 10th anniversary as part of an historic interfaith meeting in the Welsh capital.

The four Anglican Archbishops of Wales, England, Scotland and Ireland will come together with members of the Welsh Muslim community on 1 October at Cardiff City Hall for Working for the Common Good: A Christian & Islamic Perspective.

Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Revd. Rt. Hon. Justin Welby, will be keynote speaker at the event, which has been organised by the Muslim Council of Wales and will be chaired by First Minister Carwyn Jones AM.

The meeting comes as the flagship Centre marks its 10th anniversary and continues its mission to promote scholarly and public understanding of Islam and the life of Muslim communities in the UK.

Officially opened by Yusuf Islam, also known as Cat Stevens, in 2005, the centre pursues high-quality educational initiatives which have local, national, and international impact.

Since its launch, the Centre has brought 2.5m into the Welsh economy to undertake research and to enable postgraduate and postdoctoral study. Collectively, its academic researchers have published 20 academic peer-review journal articles, three books and edited 11 book chapters.

In 2014 the Centre delivered Cardiff University’s first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), enabling more than 11,000 people worldwide to develop their knowledge and understanding of Islam and British Muslim communities.

Since 2009 its Annual Public Lecture Series has brought the latest research to its local community in Cardiff, more recently streaming online to thousands of people globally through the MOOC series.

Since 2008 the Centre has been supported by the Jameel Scholarship Programme, which has supported five full-time PhD students, 21 full-time Masters students, and one post-doctoral post. This programme is currently funding a further nine Masters students, four PhD students and two additional post-doctoral staff.

Centre Director Professor Sophie Gilliat-Ray, said: “The success of the Centre for the Study of Islam in the UK is a reflection of the emphasis we place upon collaboration with Muslim communities, and research that makes a difference to public understanding of Islam and Muslims in Britain. The Islam-UK Centre now has an international reputation as the leading academic institution for research and study about Islam in the UK.

“The 10th anniversary is a wonderful occasion to celebrate this success, and the support of Cardiff University, the wider academic community, and most of all, the Muslim community here in Cardiff.”

450 people from diverse religions and community groups in Wales and national and regional representatives, including MPs, AMs and councillors, are to attend the event.