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31st January 2019: BBC radio 4 .. the changing nature of Islam.

7th February 2019: Al Hiwar Arabic TV from Istanbul interview about Basira objectives.

7th February 2019: Invitation in Jublee room Houses of common talk about FGM.

14th February 2019: Defending freedom of speech at Conway hall.

15th February 2019: BBC Radio 4 - Guardian in the Arab world - obstacle to women empowerment.

1st March 2019: Civitas, took part in discussion "Islam and the west".

26th March 2019: By invitation from CAPA 'American University' to talk about women’s human rights.

4th May 2019: BBC Radio 'British' female as minister of defence.

8th November 2019: Took part in BBC Asian channel program "Sunny & Shay" talked about Basira.

30th Novembr 2019: Invitation by UNA talk about women’s rights in the ME.

In the process of producing  a short documentary about Hijab for young girls not a religious obligation  -  A violation of childhood.

The documentary will be finished by end of December 2019.




4th June 2018 House of lords meeting with Baroness Cox

We screened the documentary  "Ana Ahlaam"

The meeting with Baroness Cox opened with a screening of the documentary ‘Ana Ahlaam.’ The documentary follows the character Ahlaam, focusing on the trials she faces from her family and community in the name of following the Shari’ah.  The subsequent discussion by Baroness Cox and the other guests explored themes raised by the documentary with specific reference to Shari’ah courts in the UK. The key themes are expanded upon below:

1.Underage marriage:

Not only are these women deprived of their childhood, but also their right to an education.

2. Physical abuse:

The character Ahlaam experiences beatings by her husband, highlighting the debate surrounding beating of women in Islamic law. This concept is mentioned clearly in one verse (4:34) whilst many other verses urge men to be kind to women and treat them with respect. This notwithstanding, the verse is often explained by various scholars who claim that the ‘beating’ referenced in the verse should be gentle, and not leave a mark. This dismisses the psychological effects as well as the feelings of degradation and humiliation experienced by women who are treated in this manner.

3. Discriminatory treatment of daughters compared to sons:

Ahlaam gives birth to a number of daughters, but never a son. This highlights the stigma surrounding the birth of girls and the longing of many men to have a son to carry his name. When Ahlaam eventually gives birth to a son, he is treated in a manner far superior to his sisters.

4. Prevention of access to careers for women:

Ahlaam is outright prevented from working by her husband. He is has this right on the basis of being her ‘guardian’, a concept based on a few ahadith of the Prophet Muhammad, as well as the Quranic verse that calls upon women to ‘stay in their houses’.

5. Polygamy:

Ahlaam’s husband chooses to take a second wife, and she is powerless to stop him, because he has the right to marry up to 4 wives..

6. Divorce:

The documentary highlights the numerous ways in which laws surrounding divorce are discriminatory towards women. In the case of divorce, the woman in question is entitle to her belated dowry, alimony for three months. She is permitted to have custody of the children up to the age of 7 (for boys) and 9 (for girls). In the event that she re-marries, she is required to give up this right. Furthermore, if the woman is not Muslim, and the father suspects that she may influence the child with another faith, the court will  waive her rights to custody. Both Muslim and non-Muslim mothers are prohibited from travelling with children without permission from the father. The only way for a women to initiate and obtain a divorce within 6 months is KULU. In this case, the woman must agree to give up all her rights in the divorce including her belated dowry in the form of alimony as well as custodial rights.

After the documentary was screened, Ahlam expanded upon the following issues to provide context for the ideas presented in Ana Ahlaam. She highlighted that the fact that culture and religion are so intrinsically linked effectively prevents women from discussing the inequality and injustices that they face in this legal system that was codified over a thousand years ago.

Ahlam went on to point out that ‘Shari’ah’ does not exist anywhere in a single codified form. Islamic law has never been considered the exact word of God, instead, it is an interpretation of Qur’an and Hadith by four male jurors in the Sunni tradition. There are a further four schools of thought in the Shia tradition, as well as other denominations such as the Zahiri, Ibadi and Ahmadi traditions.

Ahlam concluded the meeting by highlighting her position on Shari’ah courts in the UK: If Britain doesn’t stand by the liberal voices from our communities, and support us,  it will undermine voices of Arab women who are  seeking a separation of religious law and  the State and will  be abandoning Muslim and Arab women, not just in the UK, but worldwide.


Basira event on 6th June 2018 in House of Commons

Held  Jointly  with  NAWO  ( The National Alliance for Women Organisations ) 

On Wednesday 6th June - Committee Room  6  @ The House of Common

Between 11-12.30


Soraya Deen, MA
Founder, "The Muslim Women Speakers Movement."

Faeeza Vaid   Executive Director, Muslim Women’s Network UK

Ahlam Akram   Founder / Director  of Basira for Universal Women’s  Rights

Access to justice for Muslim Women: 6th June 2018

The key principles driving the organisation are a continued use of knowledge and humanity in striving for a better future. This future can, and must be achieved through implementation of justice and equality for women in the UK, thereby setting the example for Muslim women on a global scale.

It was suggested in the meeting by one of the panellists Ms. Fayeza  (Muslim Women’s Network)  that Shari’ah councils could be regulated, as opposed to abolished. It is my belief that Shari’ah  has no place in British law and I am for the abolition of Shari’ah councils in the UK. I take this position for a number of reasons. 

1. According to Islam, it is incumbent upon Muslims who live in a non-Muslim country to follow the law of the land in which they live. This in and of itself makes Shari’ah councils redundant.

2. I firmly believe that the lack of autonomy and equality afforded to women using these councils is not something that can be rectified by regulation, as the inequality in this system is intrinsic.

3. The Qur’an was compiled 23 years after the death of the Prophet Muhammad and the hadith were formally collected almost 300 years after his death. The Shari’ah law that is implemented today is exclusively male interpretations of the ideas and concepts discussed in the Qur’an and hadith.

4. The concept of Shari’ah is vastly different in various denominations of Islam. The existence of various schools of thought highlights a fundamental issue with the use and regulation of Shari’ah courts: which school of thought should these councils implement?

5. The very existence of these councils increases community isolation as well as strengthening the grip of community leaders who will exercise their authority largely on women. The men who run these councils are not judges, yet they are referred to as such, thereby increase their authority.

6. It is my belief that these councils apply outdated rulings that are incompatible with UK law. The existence of these councils creates a parallel legal system in the UK, thereby diminishing our notion of equality between UK citizens. These councils circumvent British law in a number of ways, such as their condoning and promotion of polygamy, FGM, discriminatory child custody, inheritance and underage marriage.

One of the questions from the floor asked the panel why the women affected do not come forward. It is clear to me that there is a climate of fear in these communities that prevent these women from criticising the councils and their rulings. It is my position that if Britain doesn’t stand by the liberal voices from our communities, and support us,  it will undermine voices of Arab women who are  seeking a separation of religious law and  the State and will  be abandoning Muslim and Arab women, not just in the UK, but worldwide.

18th April     Invitation  from Lord Ahmed   in the house of lords

Hijab Obligation or Choice

15th  May    invitation by Bristol  University

Justice – inequality  and gender  base violence .

21st   5th May  Invitation from Quilliam Foundation


17th   October  Elham Mania  at Civitas

25th   October   Khola  Hassan  at Civitas

25th   October  evening   House of Lords  WWAF

4th  Novemebr    speaking at Meritz ‘’ absence of women’s voices in the conflict ‘’

5th  November    invitation to speak at the houses of Common

"British Muslims for secular democracy"

9th November    speaking at House of Common   @British democracy  influence  the world

12th November    Media role  at Next Century  Foundation

22nd  November Civitas    terrorism

25th  November    speaking at One Law for all


7th January    BBC  TV   About Wage gap

13th February   BBC  Radio  from Cairo   Sexual Harassment

24th  February    BBC Radio abortion in North Irland

6th March    BBC  1  English  TV       Hijab ?

7th March     BBC Radio  MBS visit to Britain

8th   March   Al Hiwar  TV   integration obstacles ??

10th April    BBC Radio  Abortion

19th May     BBC  Radio   Royal Wedding

2nd  June ..  LBC Radio with Majid Nawas  - sharia law in UK ???

3rd August     BBC Radio   would Britain  recognise Islamic  wedding  (sharia wedding )???




29 December 2017:
Film screening of ‘Halal Love & Sex’ at the Mosaic Rooms, London.
The film is hilarious  justifying the un justified issues related to women in the MENA region.

17 March 2017:
Basira hosted an event on ‘The Hijab – Is it a Choice or an Obligation?’ that was presented by Yasmin Amin (Islamic Studies Scholar at the University of Exeter) at the Mosaic Rooms, London.

The event was extremely well received by attendees  (British Muslim women & others). The speaker proved that it is still a debated subject  in Al Azhar and other religious institutions.





24 October 2016:
Basira organised a high profile expert panel discussion re ‘Sharia Councils in the UK, the impact of their practice on British-Muslim women and looking into the resulting legal pluralism’ at the House of Lords. It was chaired by Baroness Cox, with guest speakers including: Dr Elham Manea (Author of ‘Women and Sharia Law ). The Impact of Legal Pluralism in the UK’), Lesley Abdela (Woman Rights Activist & Campaigner) and Ahlam Akram (Founder-Director of Basrira).

17 June 2016:
Basira organised an event titled ‘Insight With Fadi Zaghmout’ that looked into the subject of ‘MENA Youth: Navigating Gender Rights and Personal Freedoms in the 21st Century’. This was an informative evening discussion with the bestselling author, social activist and blogger, the Jordanian Fadi Zaghmout. Drawing inspiration from his first novel ‘The Bride of Amman’, he was joined in conversation with Shereen El Feki, the Egyptian-Welsh author of ‘Sex and the Citadel: Intimate Life in a Changing Arab World.’ Held at the Mosaic Rooms, London.

13 March 2016: 
Basira at the 'Women of the World' (WOW) Festival 2016 a panel discussion on the subject of ‘'Women of the Revolutions: Feminism in the Arab world'’.
Basira Founder Ahlam Akram took part in a panel the  discussion.
The talk looked into the core issues affecting women's lives in the Arab region as well as the role they played in revolutionary times and looking into the future for peace building. It discussed the challenges facing Arab women today and the many ways they are being addressed across the region.
For more information:

25th April 2016:
Basira organised a panel discussion re ‘‘Sharia Councils – Is UK Family Law Not Sufficient for British-Muslim Women?’’.  It  was held at the House of Lords. Chaired by Baroness Uddin and guest speakers included: Baroness Cox, Yasmin Amin (Islamic Studies Scholar at the University of Exeter), Iftah Nawaz (Vice-President at the Association of Muslim Lawyers) and Ahlam Akram (Founder-Director of Basira).

Emphasised that we are not here to defend or attack any religion we are seeking equality and justice for women.

Yasmin Amin explained that while sharia is divine, ( based on Quran and Sunneh ? both written years after the death of the Prophet ??  Quran  23 Years  in Othman time – Sunneh  300 years after the prophet with  Iben Isak – Bukari . It does not exist anywhere in a codified form and that what is actually codified and practiced is Islamic Law, which is a man made translation interpretations  of what the forefathers of the schools of law ( Hanafi- Malki- Shafiee  Hanbali  )   understood as what God wanted humans to apply in their societies to reach equity and justice and regulate the communities.  And that since this was and still is an interpretive event, that we need constant updates to Islamic law, since certain issues were not even there back in 7th, 8th, 9th etc century Arabia or elsewhere in the Islamic empire, issues like womb renting, IVF, organ donations & transplant, cloning, even prayers in outer space. I further clarified that there are several schools in both Sunni & Shi’ite sects and several that are neither, like for example the Ahmadis whom several sects do not even consider Muslims. So if Sharia Councils / courts were to be implemented then which madhab (sect) would they follow or would they allow each group to have their own?

An activist working with women spoke and highlighted the effects of sharia courts / councils and how they circumvent British law, and how these courts effectively condone & promote things like polygamy, FGM, lack of alimony, discriminatory child custody and inheritance and underage marriage.

January 2016:
Basira Founder Ahlam Akram was invited by Rotana TV Channel to speak on the subject of women as a key in the fight against fundamentalism.




30 October 2015:
Screening of two short films, ‘Shokran Toni’ and ‘Ana Ahlam’ at the Mosaic Rooms, London.

29 July 2015:
Film screening of the documentary ‘Bastards’, followed by a panel discussion, at the P21 Gallery, London.
The documentary based on true stories showing  the suffering of women due to unclear marriage laws between government legislations  and religion . And the suffering of children born outside the marriage.

March 2015:
Basira took part in the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York.  
The event took place at the Bahai center .  Invited  Raheel Reza (‘Muslims for Tomorrow’)  and  founder Ahlam Akram ,  speakers about Muslim  women’s Rights as universal rights.




5 October 2014:
Film screening of the documentary ‘Bastards’ at The Tricycle Cinema, London.
The  documentary based on true stories showing  the suffering of women due to unclear marriage laws between government legislations  and religion . And the suffering of children born outside the marriage.

27 February 2014:
Film screening of ‘Binteen Min Masr’ at The Coronet Cinema, London.
The film shows clearly the suffering of  unmarried women in a  society  that looks at you as incomplete without a husband .




26 September 2013:
Film screening of ‘Cairo Exit’ at The Coronet Cinema, London.
The film reflect that poverty does not differentiate between  Muslims  and Christian in Egypt.  How love emerge  between a Coptic woman and a Muslim .. and the question of  wether heaven  is the same after death??




3 December 2012:
Film screening of ‘Hala2 La Wein’ at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), London. 
The film demonstrate the strength and vision of women and  how to fight sectarianism to unite communities.