Federation of Student Islamic Societies
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|Federation of Student Islamic Societies|
|Motto||"Hold fast to the rope of Allah, All of you together, and be not disunited" (3:103)|
|Type||Student Pastoral Care|
|Headquarters||38 Mapesbury Road, Kilburn, London, SW2 4JD|
The Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS) is a national umbrella organisation aimed at supporting and representing Islamic societies at colleges and universities in the United Kingdom and Ireland. FOSIS was established in 1963 and is one of the oldest Muslim student organisations in the United Kingdom.
FOSIS was formed in July 1963 at a meeting held in the Cadbury Room at the University of Birmingham. At this meeting, representatives from different Islamic societies agreed to form a national body to look after the interests of Muslim students at universities. Founding members included Islamic societies from the University of Birmingham, University of Bristol, University of Dublin, Imperial College (London), University of Leeds, London Islamic Circle, Muslim Student Society UK, University of Oxford, School of Oriental and African Studies (London), Sheffield Islamic Circle, Wolverhampton Malayan Teachers College. At that time, the organisation was named FOISS (Federation of Islamic Student Societies) and it was renamed later that year to its current variation of FOSIS. In the early '60s, FOSIS was the only support group that many Muslims in the UK and Ireland could look to for support and advice.
1991/1992 – Nidal Ali
1992/1993 – Nidal Ali
1993/1994 – Riyad Alrawi
1994/1995 – Fahas Al Awadi
1995/1996 – Fahad Al Awadi
1996–1997 – Khaled Ahmad Ali
1997–1998 – Mohiburahman
1998/1999 – Hisham Morsi (Nottingham)
1999/2000 – Rani El Khattab (Nottingham)
2000/2001 – Rani El Khattab (Nottingham)
2001/2002 – Othman Moqbel (Nottingham)
2002/2003 – Othman Moqbel (Nottingham)
2003/2004 – Othman Moqbel (Nottingham)
2004/2005 – Wakkas Khan (Manchester)
2005/2006 – Wakkas Khan (Manchester)
2006/2007 – Ali Alhadithi (Leeds)
2007/2008 – Zahid Bhatti (Liverpool)
2008/2009 – Faisal Hanjra (London)
2009/2010 – Faisal Hanjra (London)
2010/2011 – Nabil Ahmed (Manchester)
2011/2012 – Nabil Ahmed (Manchester)
2012/2013 – Omar Ali (London)
2013/2014 – Omar Ali (London)
Over the years, FOSIS have hosted a number of high profile Muslim speakers/scholars. Dating back to the early 1960s, FOSIS were one of the first groups in the UK to host Malcolm X in 1964 (also known as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz) on a speaking engagement. Since then, some of the world's most influential Islamic scholars and preachers such as Ahmed Deedat, Khurram Murad and Imam Siraj Wahhaj have visited FOSIS to address Muslim students. This trend has continued over the years, with FOSIS making speaking engagements at universities part of their regular activities.
There are two conferences that are arranged by FOSIS within an academic year. The FOSIS Annual Conference (also known as the FAC for short) is the only annual national conference organised in the UK for Muslim students. It started in 1964 and has been running every year since, normally held during the summer period of the year. Conferences, typically, include lectures by prominent Islamic scholars, entertainment by nasheed artists, a video competition, presentations by different FOSIS committees and much more besides. In 2009, one of the more recent renditions of the FAC, saw over 600 students attend with a variety of different activities on show.
The FOSIS Winter Council (also known as the WC for short) has been running since 1966 and is held primarily in the December holidays. It provides a mid-semester review of FOSIS and helps to build a vision for the organisation for the second semester.
As part of their welcome to university, 'freshers' students are given packs by FOSIS to help them bed themselves into their new surroundings. Packs generally include a wall planner (with important Islamic dates inserted on the calendar), a diary, bookmark, prayer mat and much more besides.
The aim of the Islamic Societies Coordinating Committee (ISCC) is to work with the regional committees to strengthen and support Islamic societies (ISocs). The committee comprises a number of members including the 7 regional committees (Ireland, London, Midlands, North, Scotland, South and Wales) that work directly with the Islamic societies within their regions.
The Student Affairs Committee (SAC) leads and serves political work for Muslim students in a variety of arenas. Locally, this includes empowering Muslim students towards a culture of political participation and grassroots engagement with the bodies that represent them. The Committee strives towards ensuring that Muslims students work with the Students' Union at their Universities and Colleges as well as the National Union of Students (NUS).
The Student Affairs Committee campaigns on domestic issues relating to Muslim students, short-term and long-term, and politically supports Muslim-student welfare issues. The Committee also engages with external organisations and the government, to represent the interests of Muslim students.
As a national body for Muslim students, FOSIS is regularly asked to speak in different media avenues to express the view of Muslim students. The media team is responsible to respond to those requests and lead discussions on a variety of issues affecting Muslim students. Representatives of FOSIS have appeared on the Riz Khan show on Al Jazeera, Channel 4 News, BBC News and contributed articles for The Guardian newspaper under the Comment is Free section.
FOSIS has been criticised by StandPoint magazine for claiming that Islamic extremism did not exist at UK universities, when the Detroit bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was president of the student Islamic Society at University College London. StandPoint further criticised the organisation for inviting the al-Qaeda affiliated Anwar al-Awlaki, and Hamza Tzortzis, who has advocated beheadings for those leaving Islam, to speak at conferences.
- "Riz Khan Show – UK Universities and Radical Islam". English.aljazeera.net. 28 January 2010.
- Hanjra, Faisal (21 May 2010). "Keeping universities free for fair criticism". Comment is Free. Retrieved 17 January 2011.
- Douglas Murray. "Forget 'Islamophobia'. Let's Tackle Islamism | Standpoint". Standpointmag.co.uk. Retrieved 8 June 2013.