Arrival of participants and registration


Welcome Address by Dr Jeremy Colwill (Dean of the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Languages, University of Westminster)

Welcome Address by HE Georg Boomgaarden (Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany)

Welcome Address by Dr Abdelwahab El-Affendi (Coordinator of the Democracy and Islam Programme, University of Westminster)


Keynote Address

Baroness Kishwer Falkner (Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Policy Committee on International Affairs)

Keynote Address

Armin Laschet (Member of the State Parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia, former Minister for Integration of North-Rhine-Westphalia and member of the German National Islam Conference)


Panel 1: Muslim communities in Europe: multiculturalism vs integration

The multiculturalist environment has come under attack in Europe. An increasing number of voices have called on Muslim communities to better integrate and engage.

The key questions to be addressed are: How much integration can be legitimately asked for, and where are the boundaries between integration and assimilation?

Do Muslims have to choose between their own and a Western identity perceived as ‘other’ – or can the two blend into a Muslim Western identity?

Chair: Oliver McTernan (Director of Forward Thinking)

Speaker 1: François Pupponi (Mayor of Paris suburb, Sarcelles)

Speaker 2: Prof Tariq Modood (Director of the Research Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship at the University of Bristol)

Speaker 3: Baroness Haleh Afshar (Member of the House of Lords, Professor in politics and women’s studies at the University of York)


Coffee break


Panel 2: The image of Islam and how to objectify it

The image of Islam has deteriorated since 9/11. Sometimes the understanding Europeans have about Islam is distorted or lacks adequate knowledge. In order to inject more objectivity into the debate, there has been, for example, a recent campaign promoting Islam as a faith which contributes positively to British society.

The key questions to be addressed are: How can biased perceptions about Islam be countered? How can the media and the general public in Europe acquire a more balanced and comprehensive knowledge about Islam and the Muslim world?

Chair: Dr Abdelwahab El-Affendi (Coordinator of the Democracy and Islam Programme, University of Westminster)

Speaker 1: Jörg Lau (Journalist for the German weekly newspaper Die Zeit)

Speaker 2: Farooq Murad (Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain)

Speaker 3: Yousif Al Khoei (Director, Al Khoei Foundation)




Panel 3: Aspects of radicalisation and how to counter it

Violent and terrorist incidents in Europe with Islamist background have – albeit isolated – not been rooted out altogether.

The key questions to be addressed are: Why do some apparently well-integrated European youth become attracted to extremist views? Why and when do some people cross from violent talk to violent action? How can European Muslims and non-Muslims as well as state and society cooperate in order to counter extremism?

Chair: Ahmed Versi (Editor of Muslim News)

Speaker 1: Prof Dr Herta Däubler-Gmelin (Former German Federal Minister of Justice, former German MP)

Speaker 2: Eric Ollerenshaw (BritishMP, PPS to Baroness Sayeeda Hussain Warsi)

Speaker 3: Rokhsana Fiaz (Director of The Change Institute, Director of European Network of Experts on Violent Radicalisation)


Coffee break


Panel 4: ‘Euro-Islam’: contextualising Islam in secular societies

‘Euro-Islam’ has become a buzzword to describe a new Islamic consciousness in Europe, which could both help Muslims preserve their identity and fully integrate into Europe. It is directed against both ‘ghettoisation’ and assimilation.

The key questions to be addressed are: Could ‘Euro-Islam’ be the way out of the stalemate between multiculturalism and assimilation? Could ‘Euro-Islam’ become an exportable commodity inspiring Muslims elsewhere to adapt and embrace democracy and pluralism in more viable and adaptable forms?

Chair: Kristiane Backer (Author of the book From MTV to Mecca - how Islam inspired my life)

Speaker 1: Bassam Tibi (Political Scientist, former, Professor of International Relations, University of Göttingen) (tbc)

Speaker 2: Lord Bhikhu Parekh (Member of the House of Lords) (tbc)

Speaker 3: Prof Tariq Ramadan (Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies, University of Oxford)