On 20th October, the Aziz Foundation held a collaborative event on ‘Exploring Religious Seminaries in Modern Britain’ as part of our Supporting Seminaries Project. This work falls under our Leadership Development work stream which aims to work with future leaders of disadvantaged communities and support them in being effective in that role.
Among the 35 attendees were representatives of Cambridge Muslim College, Ebrahim College, St Mary’s University, Twickenham and former Labour Party politician, Ruth Kelly. Francis Campbell, Vice Chancellor of St Mary’s University delivered a presentation titled ‘Contributing to Public Policy from a Faith Perspective’ and discussions on challenges facing seminaries were explored. These included questions around recognition of leaders studying at Islamic Universities in the UK, accreditation for religious institutes, the Ijaaza system, and the qualifications of scholars (aalims) and teachers (shaykhs). The discussion was a helpful step in shaping our Supporting Seminaries Project and we will look to include more voices from different backgrounds in the future.