MEET THE TEAM

Professor Dr. Alison Frances Scott-Baumann

BA, BSc, MSc, C.Psychol., PhD, AsFBPS | Project Lead

Alison is Professor of Society and Belief and Associate Director of Research (Impact and Engagement) at SOAS, University of London. In 2019 she and her research team completed a three year AHRC grant to analyse representations of Islam and Muslims on university campuses (2015-18). Data from this research show clearly the damaging effects of Prevent, the counter security policy. This complements her work on free speech on campus and pathways to securitisation. In early 2019 she was commissioned by the government to work with Muslim community groups and improve young Muslims’ access into higher education (UMSEP). She speaks on BBC Radio 4, 5live, Times Radio and Radio Wales and writes for the Guardian and several higher education blogs. Alison applies modern philosophy (Ricoeurian) to social justice issues. She gave evidence in 2017 to the Joint Committee on Human Rights about free speech on campus and in 2019 she was invited to No. 10 Downing Street to brief advisors on her AHRC team’s research findings. She is also conducting a deep mapping of curricula and extracurricular provision for Jewish and Israeli studies in the Bloomsbury universities, to establish excellence, gaps and room for improvement.

Nina Arif

Researcher

Nina Arif is a freelance journalist who completed her MSc in International Politics at SOAS University in 2019. She has written for the international journal Critical Hermeneutics on How the British Media Dehumanises Migrants in the Context of the Syrian Civil War. Nina has produced work for various media outlets, including the BBC, Al Jazeera, and Middle East Eye. She also produced video features for BBC Arabic while living and working in the Middle East for eight years.

Sanjana Deen

Research and Programme Consultant

Sanjana is a former vocational lecturer and freelance journalist, informed by her work with NGO and government initiatives to increase female visibility in the workplace in the Middle East, Bangladesh and the UK. She has produced work for the BBC Asian Network, amongst other media outlets. Sanjana is part of ICOP’s Secretariat for the APPG on Communities of Inquiry Across the Generations, which seeks to increase dialogue on various parliamentary bills and policy areas. She is also a trustee of Kijana Kwanza (Young People First), a charity working with youth in Tanzania. Sanjana holds a bachelor's in Economics and History from SOAS and was awarded an Aziz Foundation Scholarship to complete a master's in Global Public Policy.

Tamara El-Halawani

Researcher

Professor Emeritus John Holmwood

Advisor

John Holmwood is emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Nottingham and senior researcher in the Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Science. He was formerly president of the British Sociological Association (2012-2014) and member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton (2014-15). He is the author (with Therese O’Toole) of Countering Extremism in British Schools? The Truth about the Birmingham Trojan Horse Affair (Policy Press 2018) and (with Gurminder K. Bhambra) of Colonialism and Modern Social Theory (Polity 2021). Personal website.

Thabo Huntgeburth

Researcher

Thabo is a PhD Student for political economy at SOAS’s Department of Economics, researching the impact of grassroots democratic institutions on the success of employee managed cooperatives. His areas of expertise comprise democratic theory, deliberative approaches to politics, and the interactions of socio-economic groups with political institutions. At SOAS, Thabo was engaged in advocating against policy that creates anti-democratic effects in academia and society more generally.

Rana Osman

Researcher

Rana is a PhD student in the School of Law at SOAS University of London. Her research focuses on the legal conception of political justice in Islamic legal theory amid socio-political ruptures triggered by popular uprisings in Africa and the Middle East. Her research interests include law and social movements, political accountability and transparency, and comparative politics.

Hasan Pandor

Researcher

Hasan Pandor is a researcher, copywriter, copyeditor, examiner and former language instructor who completed his PG Diploma at SOAS with the Centre of International Studies and Diplomacy in 2020. He joined the SOAS ICOP team early 2020. Whilst at SOAS, he has also worked as a research assistant on the MHCLG-funded 'Universities and Muslim Seminaries Project' (2019-2021), and on the AHRC-funded 'New everyday practices of free speech on campus: Beyond racialised and religious stereotypes' project (2021-2024). He is co-editor for 'How to Develop Free Speech on Campus: Talking to Others' (Edward Elgar, forthcoming), and worked as a researcher and copywriter/ editor for 'Paul Ricoeur: Empowering Education, Politics and Society' (Springer 2023).

Resham Pirzada

Aziz Foundation Intern

Resham is an Aziz Foundation intern who joined the ICOP team in February 2024. She had previously been working at One Young World, an organisation that aims to identify and platform young leaders from across the world creating impact related to Sustainable Development Goals. Resham worked on the programmes team where she helped ensure programmes and grants were known to the most impactful potential candidates by researching and engaging with incredible young leaders around the world. She also managed the Journalist of the Year Award from inception to the award’s presentation ceremony at the annual Summit held. Resham completed her undergraduate degree in international Relations at SOAS.

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