Is reporting on Religious events in the Middle East by the Media biased?

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Is reporting on Religious events in the Middle East by the Media biased?

5th February 2019 @ 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Is reporting on Religious events in the Middle East by the Media biased?


On 5th February 2019 we plan to hold our 3rd Faith evening under the title Is Reporting on Religious Events in the Middle East by the Media Biased? Once again, our Patron and Founder Member, Dr. Ahmed El Mokadem, has agreed to sponsor the evening. His belief in the sanctity of different religions, despite himself being an extremely devout Moslem, is a lesson to us all.

This year’s panel comprises (in alphabetic order, after the chairman):-.

Chairman – Dr Elisabeth Kendall

Dr. Kendall is a Senior Research Fellow in Arabic and Islamic Studies at Pembroke College, Oxford. Her current work examines connections between militant jihadist/political movements and cultural production in Arabic.

She spends significant time in the field and is the author or editor of several books, She also conceived of and edits the “Modern Middle east Vocabularies” series, which includes the titles Security Arabic, Intelligence Arabic and Media Arabic. Previously, she held tenured lectureships or fellowships at the Universities of Edinburgh, Oxford and Harvard. Before returning to Oxford in 2010, she served as Director of the Centre of Advanced Study of the Arab World, a UK government sponsored initiative aimed at building Arabic language-based research expertise, with a research focus on Jihad and Martyrdom. For the last four years, she has acted as international advisor (pro-bono) to a cross-tribal council in eastern Yemen that promotes social and political cohesion as a counterweight to AQAP and Islamic State expansion. She is a regular contributor to the international media.

Rabbi David Mason – Muswell Hill Synagogue

Rabbi Mason studied for a BSc and MSc in Econometrics in the LSE and was Chair of the Jewish Society while in his first year. He studied yeshivot in Israel for 7 years before receiving semicha and joining the Rabbinate. While in Israel learning in Yeshiva, he was asked to teach and lead services in Poland where he met his wife to be Eilisheva.

He is on the executive of the Rabbinical Council of the United Synagogue and has an MA in Conflict Resolution in Divided Studies. He undertakes a great deal of civic and inter faith work. He is a trustee for FODIP (Forum for Discussion on Israel and Palestine) as well as being involved with the Council of Christians and Jews.

The Rt Rev Bishop Michael Nazir Ali – former Bishop of Rochester

Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali was the 106th Bishop of Rochester, for 15 years, until 1st September 2009. He is originally from Southwest Asia and was the first Diocesan Bishop in the Church of England born abroad. He was appointed in 1994. Before that he was the General Secretary of CMS from 1989-1994 and prior to holding this position was Bishop of Raiwind in Pakistan. He holds both British and Pakistan citizenship and from 1999 was a member of the House of Lords where he is was active in a number of areas of national and international concern. He has both a Christian and a Moslem family background and is now President of the Oxford Centre for Training, Research Advocacy and Dialogue (OXTRAD).

His secondary education was in Pakistan. He read Economics, Sociology and Islamic History at the University of Karachi, and Theology at Fitzwilliam College and Ridley Hall, Cambridge.

Mr. Jack Thompson – Journalist and author

Jack Thompson holds an MA in Law from Trinity College, Cambridge. From 1974 onwards he worked for BBC World Service in various capacities, notably as a producer of news and current affairs programmes, as home correspondent covering industrial relations and the Westminster Parliament and later, as correspondent in Asia, the Middle East (to being based in Cairo where he saw Police run amok among journalists trying to cover a demonstration), the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. In 1991 he joined BBC World Television as a newsreader and reporter. (In the course of an assignment in Iraq during the war with Iran, he was publically criticised by the Saddam Hussein regme for a report on human rights in Iraq) He left the BBC in 1995 moving to Deutsche Welle TV in Berlin, again as a newsreader and reporter for their English language output. He reported from Moscow in 2002 on the occupation of a theatre by Chechen rebels which lead to 170 deaths and he covered the London 7/7 bombings in 2005. He retired from that job in 2002. Currently he is a writer and novelist and in March 2006 won the SAW Pitlochry Award for crime writing for his thriller, A Wicked Device about the rise of neo-Nazism in Germany

Dr H. A. Hellyer – Senior Associate Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (UK) & The Atlantic Council (USA)

Dr Hisham A. Hellyer is Senior Associate Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (UK), the oldest think-tank in the world, and the Atlantic Council’s (USA) Centre for the Middle East. He specialises in International Relations, particularly politics, sociology and security, and religious studies. Dr Hellyer received higher degrees in law and the social sciences at the universities of Sheffield & Warwick, and is a visiting scholar of full professorial rank at the UTM Centre for Advanced Studies on Islam, Science and Civilisation in Malaysia (CASIS). His career has included positions at and affiliations with the Brookings Institution, Harvard University, and the American University in Cairo. The author of multiple books on international relations and religious studies, Dr Hellyer was appointed as Deputy Convenor of the UK Government’s Taskforce on tackling radicalisation, and served as the Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s first Economic and Social Research Council Fellow as part of the ‘Islam’ & ‘Counter-Terrorism’ teams. He is currently on the steering committee for a multi-year EU-funded project on “Radicalisation, Secularism and the Governance of Religion”, which brings together European, North African, and Asian perspectives with a consortium of a dozen or so universities and research institutions. A Briton of English and Arab heritage, Dr Hellyer is regularly featured in the “500 Most Influential Muslims” list published annually by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre (Jordan). He is widely cited in the international media, and consulted by various governments internationally for his expertise.



The discussions will take place in the Pall all Room of the Army and Navy Club, 36 Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5JN at 6.30pm for a 7pm start on 5th February 2019

If this is not a thought provoking evening, then somehow we have failed. The debates will be followed by a Question and Answer session and then a Drinks and Snacks Reception. The British Egyptian Society is keen for this evening to attract a wide audience of BES members, friends of the Society and of their guests and, we hope, students. Do please spread the word but, most of all, do come yourselves. I have no objection to you using my flyer for other organisations.



Army & Navy Club
36 Pall Mall, St. James's
London, SW1Y United Kingdom


The British Egyptian Society