CMEPF: Cultural Muslims in the UK

The Cambridge Muslims in Europe Postgraduate Forum will meet on Tuesday 17 November to discuss research on Cultural Muslims in the UK. The main research presentation will be given by Kasia Sidlo, a Visiting Scholar at the Centre of Islamic Studies, Cambridge. This event is part of a series featuring visiting postgraduate speakers discussing their research and its wider academic context, organised by Cambridge Muslims in Europe Postgraduate Forum and kindly sponsored by the Centre of Islamic Studies. Newcomers are welcome; we kindly request that you contact the organisers ( / in advance. Further details are below.

Introductory Article:

Factors Determining Religious Identity Construction among Western-born1 Muslims: Towards a Theoretical Framework‘ by Adis Duderija

Reference  Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, Vol. 28, No. 3, December 2008

Presentation abstract:

Two opposite trends in religiosity or, more broadly, spirituality, have been gaining on strength lately. On the one hand, increased levels of piousness and devotion are being observed. On the other, the number of people identifying themselves as “non-believers” or “secular” is on the rise. This paper is an attempt at characterizing a segment of society that fits into the latter group, albeit in a heterodox way, namely “cultural Muslims”, who break the traditional dichotomy between Muslims (us) and not-Muslims (them), introducing a concept of a gradual identity. The analysis will aim at determining who they are, how they are perceived by both religious Muslims and disaffiliates from Islam, as well as evaluating their place in the public discourse on religion, and their place in the society in UK in general.


Katarzyna Sidlo is a Visiting Scholar at the Centre of Islamic Studies at the University of Cambridge, a Research and Communications Associate at CASE – Center for Social and Economic Research, a Warsaw-based think tank, and a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Oriental Studies at the University of Warsaw. She gained her education, and professional and research experience in a number of countries, including Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, United Kingdom and Poland. Educated at the University of Warsaw, School of Oriental and African Studies, and University of Jordan, she holds B.Sc. in Economics and M.A. in Arabic and Islamic Studies. Her research interests focus on the political economy of the Middle East, Islamic banking and finance, economics of religion, and religious conversion. In her work, she studies various ways in which religion and economics interact in societies on different levels, and analyses the mutual impact they have on each other.