I joined Birmingham in September 2015 as Professor of Religion and Politics, working primarily in the Edward Cadbury Centre for the Public Understanding of Religion, where I have particular responsibility for oversight of the Centre's research agenda.
My role is to bridge the gap between religious studies and social sciences by investigating the interactions between religion and politics across different traditions and cultures with a particular focus on democracy, secularization and toleration.
In addition to my role at Birmingham, I am Senior Fellow at Georgetown University’s Berkley Center where I direct the ‘Islam in World Politics’ program. I also teach on contemporary Islam at Harvard Divinity School and direct the Harvard interfaculty program ‘Islam in the West’.
My research focuses on religion and international politics, Islam and globalization, Islam and secularism, immigration, and religious pluralism. My most recent book, The Islamic Awakening: Religion, Democracy and Modernity (Cambridge University Press, 2014), is based on three years research on state-Islam relations in Egypt, Turkey, Iraq, Pakistan and Tunisia, conducted when I held the Minerva Chair at the US National War College (2011-2012). My book, When Islam and Democracy Meet: Muslims in Europe and in the United States (2006) is a standard reference text in the study of European Islam and integration of Muslim minorities in secular democracies, and my other recent books include: Why the West Fears Islam: An Exploration of Islam in Western Liberal Democracies (2013).
I also coordinate two major web resources on Islam and politics: Islamopedia Online and Euro-Islam.info.