I am a sociologist of religion and Lecturer in the Department of Theology and Religion, University of Birmingham, UK. I completed my doctorate in Goldsmiths, University of London and have held research positions at York St John University, Newman University and the Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship, University of Bristol, where I am a Research Affiliate.
My primary area of research interest is in the formation and public negotiation of ultimate beliefs. Most of my research has focused on the Islamic tradition in the UK, although I have written about and researched a variety of subjects relating to the study of religion and belief, including:
- Religion, social change and national identity
- The political representation of religious (especially Muslim) minorities
- Religion, non-religion and attitudes towards science
- Anti-Muslim prejudice
- Liberalism, multiculturalism and public religion
- Strategies for the prevention of violent extremism in the UK
I am presently Co-Investigator on a major 6 country multi-disciplinary study, ‘Science and Religion: Exploring the Spectrum Global Perspectives’ (TRT, 2018–2022) and Co-Primary Investigator on a new project developing the International Research Network for the Social Study of Science and Religion (TRT, 2019-2022). I am also Primary Investigator on the project ‘Science and the Transmission of Islamic Knowledge in Britain’ (Rice University, 2020-2023) and a British Academy-funded Small Grant project entitled ‘The Nature of Contemporary Islamophobia’ (2020-2022).
My most recent books are Science, Belief, Society: Religion, Non-religion and the Public Understanding of Science (University of Bristol press, edited with Tom Kaden and Rebecca Catto) and Islam and the Secular State: National Identity and the Transformation of Muslim Community in Britain (Bloomsbury/I.B. Tauris).
My research has been covered in The Times Higher Education, The Times and The Daily Telegraph, and I have advised BBC Radio 4’s The Today Programme and BuzzFeed, among others, on media reports.