The Enemy Within A Tale of Muslim Britain

Ex-Chair of the Conservative Party, Senior Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and once a Minister for Faith and Communities, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi was the first Muslim woman to attend Cabinet in Britain. She is to address issues around Islamophobia and the treatment of British Muslims in a public lecture at the University.

Baroness Warsi will talk about her new book, The Enemy Within, on faith, integration and injustice, at a moment when such concerns remain pressing issues in multicultural, twenty-first century Britain.

The event is being hosted by the Unit for Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement (DICE) based in the School of Media, Communication and Sociology. It takes place on Thursday 21 June from 6pm-7.30 pm at the Peter Williams Lecture Theatre, University Road, Leicester.

Professor Surinder Sharma from DICE said: “The role of DICE at the University of Leicester is to address current debates by bringing forceful and committed speakers with wide experience, such as Baroness Warsi, to the Leicester public. Muslim female voices can sometimes be drowned out of important debates, but Baroness Warsi has been at the forefront of public discussion about British Muslims for more than a decade. This presentation and subject is important for everyone in our society, perhaps especially so for those who live in multicultural cities such as Leicester.”

Assistant Professor John Williams from DICE said: “We are very fortunate to be hosting Baroness Warsi, a public figure who has inspired women from her own community – and outside it – and who has changed the attitudes towards women in public life of many men. Her work on multiculturalism and the importance of faith will be very well known to most people, but she has also recently been appointed to Shelter’s new Commission on Social Housing in the wake of the Grenfell disaster. She remains a formidable advocate of support for communities she sees as being marginalised or excluded.”

Baroness Warsi will outline the challenges we face in creating a less Islamophobic, more inclusive and just society for people from all faiths, backgrounds and potentials. Her own Foundation offers opportunities for social mobility for young disadvantaged people, while exploring how religion can positively influence and impact global challenges.

This event will be of interest to all those who care about justice and equality issues and who want to shape a prosperous and harmonious Britain for the future. It provides an opportunity for the Leicester public to get involved in that debate and to meet with a very unusual and impressive figure: a charismatic Muslim woman who has operated at the very highest level of government.

This is Baroness Warsi’s second visit to the University. She delivered the Sir Sigmund Sternberg Lecture in 2011 where she focussed on combatting religious intolerance in Britain.