Usama Hasan

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Usama Hasan
Usama Hasan speaking at Army and Navy Club, Saint James, London.jpg
Born
CitizenshipBritish
OccupationTheologian, author, lecturer
OrganizationQuilliam
Websiteunity1.wordpress.com

Usama Hasan is a British astronomer and former academic who is currently a senior researcher in Islamic Studies at the Quilliam Foundation.[1]

He is a former senior lecturer in business information systems at Middlesex University,[1][2] and a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.[3][4] He has argued in favour of a compatibility between Islam and human evolution.[5]

Career[edit]

He has stated that he fought in Afghanistan against the Soviet occupation.[6][7]

Hasan was a member of the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Projecting British Muslims delegations to Egypt in 2008[8] and to Afghanistan (Helmand) in 2010,[9] was a Keynote Speaker at the Anglo-Syrian government-sponsored conference "The Message of Peace in Islam" in Damascus in 2009,[10] and is a Patron of both the Forum for the Discussion of Israel and Palestine (FODIP)[11] and Friends of the Bereaved Families Forum.[12] Usama was also a speaker at the Google Ideas/Council on Foreign Relations Summit Against Violent Extremism (Dublin, 2011).[13]

He is Senior Researcher at the Quilliam Foundation.[1] He has appeared on television programmes, including BBC Hardtalk,[14] CNN,[15] and has also written various columns for The Guardian and The Washington Post.[16][17]

Controversies[edit]

Evolution controversy[edit]

Hasan has argued that Islam is compatible with the theory of evolution, describing the story of Adam and Eve as "children's madrasa-level understanding" of human origins while pointing to antecedents of the modern theory of evolution among medieval Muslim philosophers like Ibn Khaldun and Ibn Miskawayh.[5] His lectures have been disrupted by hecklers and he claims to have received death threats.[4][18]

Hasan later retracted some of his views on evolution.[4] Several British Muslim writers, including Inayat Bunglawala and Yahya Birt, backed his right to free speech.[19][20] On 5 January 2013, he was featured in a debate against Yasir Qadhi titled Have Muslims Misunderstood Evolution?, in which he argued in favor of human evolution.[21]

Power struggles at the Masjid al-Tawhid[edit]

Hasan has complained about "extremism" at the London Masjid al-Tawhid mosque and in May 2012, as part of the arbitration process, he and all other trustees voluntarily stepped down from their positions as Trustee of the masjid.[22] In June 2012, the new Trustees of the Trust changed the locks of the Mosque doors and employed security guards.[23] According to the website of the Masjid al-Tawhid, the Hasan family "want to ... regain personal control of the mosque".[24][25]

Al-Shabaab video threat[edit]

In October 2013 Hasan was alerted by anti-terrorist police that he and other Muslim figures in the UK who had spoken out against Islamist extremism had been targeted by a propaganda video created by Al-Shabaab, the terrorist group responsible for the attack on the Westgate shopping mall in Kenya.[26] [27]

Views[edit]

Fatwa against ISIS[edit]

In 2014 he and others issued a fatwa condemning British Muslims fighting for the "oppressive and tyrannical" Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Their fatwa "religiously prohibits" would-be British jihadists from joining the Islamic State and orders all Muslims to oppose ISIS' "poisonous ideology".[28][29]

Summer fasting times[edit]

Usama believes that Muslims in the UK should fast shorter hours — rather than the dawn-to-sunset hours that most Muslims do — as summer days at such latitudes can run for up to 19 hours.[30]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Quilliam. Usama Hasan: Senior Researcher". Archived from the original on 16 October 2013. Retrieved 7 November 2013.
  2. ^ Middlesex University Staff directory. Usama Hasan. http://www.mdx.ac.uk/aboutus/staffdirectory/Usama_Hasan.aspx |accessdate=2012-07-15 Archived 19 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Muslim academic forced to retract evolution claim - The First Post http://www.theweek.co.uk/people-news/7269/muslim-academic-forced-retract-evolution-claim Archived 15 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine Accessed 15 July 2012}
  4. ^ a b c "Imam fears 'nutters' could kill him for preaching evolution - London Evening Standard". Archived from the original on 11 March 2011. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
  5. ^ a b Hasan, Usama (11 September 2008). "Knowledge regained - Guardian". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 15 March 2016. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
  6. ^ "Hardtalk - Usama Hasan". BBC News. 30 August 2007. Archived from the original on 15 February 2009. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
  7. ^ Dr Mathew Guest, Dr Elisabeth Arweck, Religion and Knowledge: Sociological Perspectives, p 36. ISBN 1409471160
  8. ^ Dina Rabie (10 July 2008). "Projecting British Muslims". OnIslam. Archived from the original on 5 May 2015. Retrieved 7 November 2013.
  9. ^ "British Muslims visit Afghanistan". Gov.UK. 6 September 2010. Archived from the original on 5 May 2015. Retrieved 7 November 2013.
  10. ^ Usama Hasan. The Balance of Islam in Challenging Extremism Archived 2 August 2014 at the Wayback Machine. Quilliam, 2012: p. 4
  11. ^ "What is FODIP?". FODIP. Archived from the original on 13 January 2014. Retrieved 7 November 2013.
  12. ^ "Contact UKFBFF". Friends of the Bereaved Families Forum. Archived from the original on 26 July 2013. Retrieved 7 November 2013.
  13. ^ "Summit Against Violent Extremism (SAVE)". Council on Foreign Relations. Archived from the original on 15 November 2013. Retrieved 7 November 2013.
  14. ^ BBC Hardtalk http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/hardtalk/6970298.stm Archived 15 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ CNN http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/03/21/cleric-evolution-compatible-with-islam/?iref=allsearch Archived 18 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ The Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/usamahasan?INTCMP=SRCH Archived 18 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ The Washington Post https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/31/AR2009123102332.html Archived 23 May 2017 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ Rowenna Davis (6 March 2011). "London imam subjected to death threats for supporting evolution. Mosque suspends engineering lecturer Usama Hasan for 'antagonising' community and backing women's rights". Archived from the original on 18 January 2017. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 August 2011. Retrieved 13 March 2011.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  20. ^ Inayat Bunglawala. (9 March 2011). "Islam must engage with science, not deny it. Pressure put on a London imam to retract statements supporting the theory of evolution does Muslims a disservice". Archived from the original on 29 January 2019. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  21. ^ Dr Usama Hasan featured on the panel of The Deen Institute event "Have Muslims Misunderstood Evolution?" Archived 1 February 2016 at the Wayback Machine retrieved 7 January 2013
  22. ^ Arbitration Report May 2012. MUSLIM ARBITRATION SERVICE Masjid & Madrasah al-Tawhid Trust http://www.masjidtawhid.org/management/55-arbitration-report-may-2012 Archived 4 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine accessed 15 July 2012
  23. ^ Masjid & Madrasah al-Tawhid Trust. Trust asserts control over the Mosque. Statement on events of Monday 18 June 2012. http://www.masjidtawhid.org/management/59-trust-asserts-control-over-the-mosque Archived 3 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine. accessed 15 July 2012
  24. ^ A Response to the Statement of Sr Nazima Sheikh. Masjid & Madrasah al-Tawhid Trust http://www.masjidtawhid.org/management Archived 31 December 2012 at the Wayback Machine accessed 15 July 2012
  25. ^ End of Arbitration, WFCOM Meeting, Disruption of Friday Announcement Masjid & Madrasah al-Tawhid Trust http://www.masjidtawhid.org/management Archived 31 December 2012 at the Wayback Machine accessed 15 July 2012
  26. ^ Shiv Malik; Duncan Gardham & Vikram Dodd (17 October 2013). "Prominent UK Muslims under police protection after al-Shabaab threats". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 10 November 2013. Retrieved 7 November 2013.
  27. ^ Simon Hooper (26 October 2013). "British Muslims defiant over al-Shabab threat". Al Jazeera English. Archived from the original on 31 October 2013. Retrieved 6 November 2013.
  28. ^ Isis terror threat: Leading British Muslims issue fatwa condemning terror group. Zachary Davies Boren. The Independent 31 August 2014. Accessed 31 August 2014. [1] Archived 23 June 2017 at the Wayback Machine
  29. ^ FATWA ON THE SO-CALLED "ISLAMIC STATE" (FORMERLY "ISLAMIC STATE IN IRAQ & SYRIA") Archived 12 September 2014 at the Wayback Machine. The Sunday Times.
  30. ^ "Ramadan fast in UK 'should be shortened' says scholar". BBC. Archived from the original on 9 June 2016. Retrieved 11 June 2016.

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