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Superb course well delivered. Would have liked one more day!

Participant, church group, Birmingham

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Public Sector Training
Expert training to enhance your understanding of Muslims today

Do we really understand what’s going on inside?

Download our Training Services Brochure

The Policy Research Centre provides expert training for the public sector aimed at enhancing the understanding of Muslim communities in a relaxed, friendly and open atmosphere in which participants can ask any questions they wish. We will work with you to enhance your understanding of the issues that affect British Muslims and discuss some of the key debates occurring in contemporary Islamic thought.

Simply send us a Training Enquiry Form and we can start moving. Or just pick up the phone and ring our Head of Training, Naved Siddiqi on 07506 733 916.

The training courses can be designed to accommodate most business and policy needs. Ideal training group sizes normally consist of 10-15 participants which allows for interaction and group learning.

Training can be delivered over a variety of time spans, from a short lunchtime session on a specific issue, to a two-day course on the beliefs, histories, intellectual trends, integration, extremism and contemporary issues facing (mainly British) Muslim societies today, including a workshop and a visit to a place of worship. Our training is not generalised and we tailor each course to address the specific policy needs of our clients. We normally deliver training on-site, but can also arrange residential courses.

You can learn more about our most popular modules by looking at Course Components list below. They can be combined and adapted to meet more specific needs. Each presentation can be from 30 min upwards, depending on the depth sought, though ideally a 45 min presentation with 45 min discussion.

So contact us today and see how we can help deliver the training you require.


Our Public Sector Training Modules

British Muslims and Integration
British Muslims Early settlers and pre-war communities. Post war migration and challenges of integration. The influence of domestic and global politics on identity formation and the evolution of a British Muslim discourse. Discussion around representation, organisation and leadership. The impact of 9/11 & 7/7 on Muslim communities and the major challenges, including Islamophobia, disadvantage, narratives of victimhood and how loyalties to umma and nation are negotiated.
Mapping Muslim Britain: Diversity, Sects and Trends of Thought
Mapping Muslim Britain An estimation of the make up of Muslim Britain, assessing demographic profiles and the spread and dominance of schools of thought and sects. The impact of post war migration on settlement patterns and diversity. What makes up Muslim Britain and who controls its estimated 1,500 mosques? The key trends of thought and identifying the rising trends.
Beliefs, Practices and Faith Dynamics
Muslim Beliefs, Practices & Faith Dynamics The primary beliefs of Islam and their implications for the Muslim worldview. The Abrahamic faiths and the chain of prophethood. Revelation, death and the after life. Aspects from the life of Muhammad the prophet, and his impact on Muslim thought and culture. Muslim ritual practices such as prayer (salat), fasting (sawm) and the pilgrimage (hajj). The dynamics of faith on the rites of passage and religious celebrations.
Schools of Thought and Intellectual Trends
Muslim Schools of Thought The lay of the land in terms of denominations and sectarian trends. The origins of, and the key differences between, the Shia and Sunni schools. The background and emergence of legal methodology within religious schools and the development of the four major schools of Sunni thought or fiqh. The impact of institutionalised religious authority and its counter-culture. Modernism, Salafism, Wahabism, Sufism and Reformism - how and where they originated. An overview of their distinguishing features and the impact of globalisation and migration.
Muslim Youth and Identity
British Muslim Youth & IdentityOver 50% of all British Muslims are under 25 and are exploring a youth culture alien to their parents. The glare of the spotlight on them - under the War on Terror - is intense. National anxieties about identity and belonging and rising Islamophobia, whether real or perceived, all feed into the questions and confusions affecting a great many young Muslim Britons. The socio-economic profiles and rising prison populations can paint a grim picture, but not a complete one. The emergence of class division, political leanings and wide degree of differences in social integration.
Britain’s Muslims: The Socio Economic Picture
British Muslims Socio-Economic PictureAn overview and some analysis of Census data on the socio-economic realities and changing demographics of Muslim citizens. The growing divide amongst British Muslims and the cycles of poverty. In what way can this impact on a sense of victimhood or a narrative of exclusion or anger? An appreciation of some of the key related challenges for local authorities faced with great difficulties in resource allocation. The outlook for the Census 2011 and its impact on social policy and civic concerns.
British Muslims in Education
British Muslims in EducationThe emergence of faith schools, the after-school madrassa system and parental demands; home schooling and its factors. Questions of integration and social cohesion at tension with the right of parental choice. A look at government data on educational achievement and an analysis of factors yielding exam results. A consideration of the broader social impact of Muslim girls achieving better results than boys in education upon areas such as the family home and economic power. Religious teachings on education and the evolution of the Quranic concept of ilm.
Rejectionist Extremism – the Far Right and British Islamic Extremism
Rejectionist ExtremismA cross-cutting analysis of both far right and Islamic extremism within the current socio-political climate. How does the rise and recent political success of the BNP differ from the rise of the National Front during the 1970s? An appreciation of the impact of strong anti Muslim feelings alongside Muslim perceptions of a new ‘War against Islam’. A look at the mirrored narratives of both types of socio-political movements using a narrative of rejectionism.
Contemporary Gender Issues
Contemporary Gender IssuesFew things cause as much consternation, and intrigue, as the subject area of gender roles in Muslim cultures. Learn about the broader context of Islamic teachings on gender roles. Women in Muhammad’s day: social norms, legal provisions and participation. The mosque and female religious practice. Polygamy, divorce and inheritance laws. The impact of European enlightenment and feminism; colonisation and migration to Europe. Misogyny and the rise of false hadith, and their impact on women. Dress and the politicisation of the headscarf (‘hijab’). The western experience and the human rights discourse. The rise of an Islamic feminist discourse.
The Mosque (Masjid) and Imams
Mosques & ImamsWith its familiar dome and tall minaret, the mosque (or more properly the masjid) symbolizes, for many, the permanent ‘settlement’ of Muslims. What do we learn from the earliest mosque and how much has changed? What features make a mosque and what relationship does it have with British Muslim communities? How many mosques are there in Great Britain: how are they organised, run and funded? What is taught in mosques and can they be barriers to integration and social cohesion? How do mosques cope with changing demands? Are mosques open to women? What role does the Imam perform? The different titles and roles of figures of religious authority.
Sharia and Legal Thought
Sharia & Legal ThoughtAn introduction to the objectives of Islamic Law. The sources of law. Fiqh and Sharia - distinctions and confusions. Categories of actions and legal maxims. Temporal law, progression and permanence - the debates around the implementation of Sharia in the contemporary world. Democracy, Muslim minorities, and new territories. The language of Sharia in political discourse.
Islamic Revivalism
Islamic RevivalismThe reformist and revivalist movements in both Shi‘i and Sunni traditions, their origins and major effects on Muslim thought in the 20th century. Historical figures and the processes of revival. The early modern influences and contemporary intellectuals. The transportation of revivalist thought and methodologies into Western Islamic institutions and thought.
Extremism and Radicalisation
Extremism & RadicalisationA background to some of the current discussion around extremism and terrorism in the name of Islam. Old and new concepts of takfir (excommunication) and the growth of a discourse that justifies violent conflict. The roots of Muslim anger and the narrative of modern Jihadism, placing this in the broader context of a drift towards victimhood. The impact of globalisation on the debate and how the internet is increasingly used as a vehicle for disseminating extremist ideas.
Political Islam
Political IslamTalk of ‘Islamism’ has been emergent in social and political discourse. Where did this emerge and what is it? How does it relate to the spiritual and ritual dimensions of faith? How do we understand it in relation to talk of the Sharia, or to rallying calls for a ‘global’ Caliphate state? What does such thought mean for the cause of integration, democratic participation and citizenship? This component explores such questions in a British context.
The Sunni-Shia Divide
Shia Sunni DivideOrigins of the divide and its early history. The organisation of religious source material and the development of religious legal systems. Sectarian off shoots and mapping Sunni-Shia demographics. The Iranian revolution and its relationship with the Sunni world. The Institutions of learning. Celebrations, inter-marriage and cultural practices. The rise of violence against the ‘other’ justified in the name of religion.
Suicide Bombing in Battle
Suicide BombingAssessing the use of the body as a weapon and its crossover and contention with Islamic teachings. Islamic teachings on the acts of suicide, jihad and martyrdom. Contemporary thought on suicide bombing and scholarly views. The impact of the internet and the rise in ‘do-it-yourself’ suicide campaigns.
Islamic Heritage
Learn Islamic HeritageOver 1,000 years of contact, dialogue and influence within a session. The component explores key aspect of our national heritage that are often forgotten or overlooked, including contributions to language, education, arts, science and the development of law.
Aspects of Muhammad’s Life
Muhammad's LifeMuhammad claimed to be the prophet of God in the 7th century, simultaneously laying claim to new and ancient scriptures. Loved by a billion people across the world, Muhammad’s life is often meticulously followed. What can we learn about Islam from the most pivotal character in the Islamic tradition and what is the significance of his life, teachings and authority? What relevance do his teachings (the Sunna) have to Muslims today?
Pre-War Muslims in Britain
Pre-War Muslims in BritainA journey into the presence and settlement of Muslims before the post-war migrations. A look at early converts to Islam and their religious activism. The component will cover early mosques and religious needs and ceremonies, paying particular attention to the communities in Woking and Liverpool in the late 19th Century.
Family, Customs and Celebrations
Muslim Family, Customs & CelebrationsFestivals, celebrations and marriage; cultural expressions and features of commonality and conflict. An understanding of the religious calendar of Muslims and of the events marked.
Forced Marriage, Divorce and Adoption
Muslims Forced Marriages, Divorce & AdoptionThe concept of marriage. Forced marriage - practices, justifications and stimuli. Historical, tribal and religious justifications. Divorce and custody issues. DIY marriage and the growth of Islamic tribunals and courts. Adoption and fostering in Islamic law and the rights of biological parents.