In light of escalating concerns regarding the rise in anti-Muslim prejudice and hate crimes worldwide, Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) is poised to hold a critical international conference titled ‘Global Histories and Practices of Islamophobia’ from 30 September to 1 October at the Four Seasons Hotel Doha.

The public conference brings together a diverse group of professionals, academics, government officials, artists, and students to explore the global, historical, theological, and political dimensions that drive practices of Islamophobia. The gathering is jointly organised by GU-Q faculty members Dr Firat Oruc, Associate Professor of Culture and Politics and Dr Karine Walther and Dr Abdullah Al-Arian, both Associate Professors of History.

According to Dr Al-Arian, Islamophobia has become a prominent issue in public discourse over the past decade. As scholars and practitioners, understanding its origins and connections across different times and geographies is crucial to addressing its contemporary forms.

Dr Oruc added that the conference aims to facilitate this understanding by convening experts from diverse fields and regions, while also offering a public platform for engagement on this pressing global issue.

Scholarly perspectives on anti-Islamic sentiment

The conference will open with a keynote address by South African activist and diplomat, HE Ambassador Ebrahim Rasool, founder of the World for All Foundation. His faith-driven advocacy has been instrumental in fostering global cooperation across faiths and cultures.

Over two days, panel discussions will offer scholarly perspectives and spotlight current instances of anti-Islamic sentiment, notably during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ coverage and in the context of the global war on terror.

GU-Q Islamophobia conference

Prominent academic voices will include the distinguished scholar Dr John Esposito, Professor of Religion, International Affairs and Islamic Studies at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. Dr Esposito is the author of over 55 books on religion, Islam and Islamophobia. He is also the founding director of the Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding and The Bridge Initiative.

Dalia Mogahed, former policy advisor on Muslim affairs under President Barack Obama, will share her insights and analysis on the impact of Islamophobia. She is the director of research at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, Washington, DC, and co-author with Dr Esposito of Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think.

Also among the notable speakers is Sana Saeed, host and senior producer at AJ+, who will offer an analysis of the role of media in shaping public sentiment during the panel session ‘Constructing the Narrative: Islamophobia and the Media’.

The conference is the second in the university’s signature Hiwaraat Series following the well-attended Iraq War anniversary conference. Alongside the main discussions, there will be interactive workshops where students and community members can engage with activists and artists who are at the forefront of combating Islamophobia. A student-led forum will address challenges in higher education related to Islamophobia.

For more information and for registration details, visit

SEE ALSO: Hiwaraat Conference Series: Islamophobia

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