Past eventMembers

Islam, Immigration and Identity in Europe

23 May 2018 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm

Chatham House, London


Ambassador Akbar Ahmed, Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies, American University's School of International Service, Washington; Pakistani High Commissioner, UK and Ireland (1999-2000); Author, Journey Into Europe: Islam, Immigration, and Identity
Chair: Baroness Uddin, Member, House of Lords; Member, Lords EU Sub-Committee (2006-08)



Over the past decade, relationships between European and Islamic societies have been marked by steadily escalating tension. These pressures have been perpetuated by the rise of right-wing nationalist political parties across Europe - often espousing anti-Muslim rhetoric - coupled with increased immigration from Muslim countries due to conflicts across North Africa and the Middle East.

At this event, Ambassador Akbar Ahmed will draw on findings from his book, Journey into Europe: Islam, Immigration, and Identity, to examine relations between the West and the Muslim world. Ambassador Ahmed will argue that Europe is at a crossroads, and unless urgent and drastic action is taken, cultural, religious, and ethnic tensions will continue to grow, which could result in escalated violence erupting across the continent. 

Ambassador Ahmed has spoken to some of Europe's most prominent figures, including presidents and prime ministers, archbishops, chief rabbis, grand muftis, heads of right-wing parties, and everyday Europeans from a variety of backgrounds. He will draw upon their insights to offer an analysis of what has gone wrong, and why, in relations between the West and the Muslim world. He will explore the current place of Islam in Europe and offer recommendations for promoting integration and pluralism in the 21st century.