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  4. The politics of fear; what does it mean to those who are otherised and feared?




The politics of fear; what does it mean to those who are otherised and feared?




Speaker: Professor the Baroness Haleh Afshar

Lecture by Professor the Baroness Haleh Afshar OBE AcSS and Emeritus Professor of Politics, the University of York

This presentation will place the experiences of British born Muslims in general and women in particular in the context of the politics of fear and suggest that by identifying categories of people as enemies within, we do a disservice to Britain as well as to its minorities. The question is what does the politics of fear and such an ascribed identity of "terrorist" do to an entire community? What does it do to them as often British-born and generally law-abiding citizens and their understanding of who they are?
Their choices are limited; Many of those who can, discard their identities; if their colour does not denounce them, they become quasi-Mediterranean, change their names and move on. But for the majority either that option is not available or they choose not to take it. They adopt the ascribed identity "Muslim" and are proud of it. The presentation will explore the problems that such a decision poses and consider some strategies that have been adopted.

Professor the Baroness Haleh Afshar

Haleh Afshar is an emeritus Professor at the Department of  Politics and at the University of York and serves as a Crossbench Peer in the House of Lords. In 2005 she was awarded an OBE for services to equal opportunities. She is also the Visiting Professor of Islamic Law at the Faculté Internationale de Droit Comparée at Strasbourg. She was born and raised in Iran where she worked as a journalist and a civil servant. She has served as the Chair for the British Association of Middle Eastern Studies and Chair of United Nation Association's International Services. For seven years she served as Deputy Chair of the British Council's Gender and Development Task Force. She has also served with the Advisory Group of the Cabinet Offices Women's Unit to work on raising gender awareness amongst civil servants who adjudicate on applications for asylum from women. She served as a member of Nuffield Council on bioethics' working group on ethics and Pharmacogenetics. In 2008 she was appointed to serve as a Commissioner on Women's National Commission. She has written two and edited/co-edited 13 books on questions relating to women and development; as well as producing books on Islam and feminisms Iranian politics and women in later years.
Afshar serves on the editorial boards of 10 academic journals and has been a member of the advisory group to aid the development of an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). Member of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation research project on 'Muslims and Community Cohesion in Britain'; member of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Working Group on religion and ethnicity 2006; member of the advisory group the AHRC and ESRC set up to take forward the development of a joint research programme tackling the issues of religion, belief and society 2006; member of the Advisory Group for the 'Integration of female immigrants in labour and society' research programme, part of the 6th framework programme of the European Commission 2006-8. She was invited to act as an ESRC representative on the British Academy and ESRC's Visiting Fellowships Scheme Panel for the Middle-East 2007 and 2008.

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When & where

6.30pm - 8.30pmThursday 3rd May 2012

Oliver Thompson Lecture Theatre Tait Building City, University of London Northampton Square London EC1V 0HB United Kingdom

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+44 (0)20 7040 8037

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