Islam and Democracy conference — Clarity and confidence for Muslim communities in the midst of growing uncertainty and fears


The Cordoba Foundation convened a successful conference on Thursday, the 12th of February in Central London. The conference examined, amongst other things, the growing interest and critique of political Islam following the Arab Spring, with particular focus on the Muslim Brotherhood.


Held at the Holiday Inn – Kensington Forum, the packed day-long conference with keynote addresses and break-out sessions brought together an esteemed line-up of international experts, scholars, academics, journalists and politicians. The morning keynote, entitled “Contemporary political Islam — an important object of social scientific inquiry?” was delivered by Professor Jeffrey Haynes, Associate Dean (research) of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities at London Metropolitan University. Professor Yasin Aktay, Deputy Chairman of the AK Party in Turkey, speaking at the inaugural session moderated by The Rt. Hon. Clare Short, Secretary of State (1997- 2003), mapped out the manifestation and role of political Islam in Turkey. Professor John Esposito, Professor of Religion and International Affairs and of Islamic Studies at Georgetown University, USA, rounded-up the conference with his keynote, “The Future of Political Islam: Democracy, Militant Jihadist and a War on Terrorism?”


Other topics ranged from Islamists’ perceptions of democracy, the State, secularism, violence and extremism; to specific issues related to the Muslim Brotherhood, including its ideology and principles of democracy; the relevance of the Brotherhood today and the impact of repressive measures targeting it globally. The conference also addressed the specific issue of the Western and European approaches to the Brotherhood and the UK Government “Review” that commenced in 2014.


Dr Anas Altikriti, CEO of The Cordoba Foundation commented: “this conference proved timely and the themes discussed quite relevant as the discussions that took place throughout were robust and raised many intriguing points. Political Islam in the aftermath of the Arab Spring is arguably the most important theme of any discussion of the MENA region and its dominant political trends, and the conference agreed that much more discussion and debate were necessary to better understand this topic and draw possible scenarios for the future of the most volatile region in the world today.”






Notes to editors:


1. The conference was titled, Islam and Democracy: Exploring the Strategies of Political Islam and the Muslim Brotherhood’s Contribution, and was held the Holiday Inn London – Kensington Forum, 97 Cromwell Road, London SW7 4DN


2. Full conference schedule and profiles of speakers available here:

Profiles (PDF)




Schedule (PDF) 


3. To access the video recording of the entire conference proceedings, visit The Cordoba Foundation’s Youtube Channel


4. Picture highlights from the conference are available here:


5. For media interviews and queries, please email


6. The Cordoba Foundation is an independent strategic think tank that works to promote intercultural dialogue and positive coexistence, through a range of activities including research and publications, training and capacity building, policy briefings and dialogues. The Foundation takes its name from the city of Cordoba. The European metropolis was once a symbol of human excellence and intellectual ingenuity, where cultures, civilisations and ideas thrived. Embodying this spirit, TCF today facilitates the meeting of minds, to advance understanding and respect for one another.