Our guest speaker will be Mona Siddiqui OBE, one of Britain’s leading Muslim academics, professor of Islamic and Interreligious Studies at the University of Edinburgh, and a member of the Commission on Scottish Devolution. She is also a regular contributor to Thought for the Day and Sunday on BBC Radio 4, and to The Times, The Scotsman, The Guardian, Sunday Herald.
Mona Siddiqui joined the University of Edinburgh’s Divinity school in December 2011 as the first person to hold a chair in Islamic and Interreligious Studies. She also holds the posts of Assistant Principal for Religion and Society and Dean international for the Middle-East at the university of Edinburgh. Prior to this she worked at Glasgow University directing the Centre for the Study of Islam. Her research areas are primarily in the field of Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) and ethics and Christian-Muslim relations. Amongst her most recent publications are, Hospitality in Islam: Welcoming in God’s Name (Yale UP, 2015), My Way: A Muslim Woman's Journey (IB Tauris, 2014), Christians, Muslims and Jesus (Yale University Press, 2013), and The Good Muslim: Reflections on Classical Islamic Law and Theology (Cambridge University Press, 2012). She has held visiting professorships at several Dutch and American universities including a Humanitas Professorship at Cambridge University in 2014.
She is well known internationally as a public intellectual and a speaker on issues around religion, ethics and public life. She is a regular commentator in the media, known especially for her appearances on BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio Scotland’s Thought for the Day. In 2012, she appeared as a guest on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs and in July 2015, was a guest on BBC Radio 3’s Private Passions. She chairs the BBC’s Religious Advisory Committee in Scotland and has recently been invited to chair the Scotland `Stronger In’ pro Europe campaign. She is an elected member of the Nuffield Council of Bioethics and a member of the Franco-British Council. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, holds four honorary doctorates and an honorary fellowship of the Royal Society of Scottish Architects for her contribution to public life. In 2011, she was awarded an OBE for her contribution to interfaith services. In 2014 she spoke on religion and politics at the World Economic Forum in Davos as she is a member of the Global Agenda Council on Faith for the World Economic Forum. In 2015, she was named in the Debretts top 500 list of the most influential people in the UK. In 2016, she will give the Prideaux lectures at the University of Exeter and the Gifford lectures at the University of Aberdeen.