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School of Law

Book Launch - Muslim Families, Politics and the Law: A Legal Industry in Multicultural Britain

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15 June 2015

Time: 6:00 - 9:00pm
Venue: Lecture Theatre, ArtsOne Building, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS

GLOCUL: Centre for Culture and Law presents a lecture and discussion with Professor Ralph Grillo to launch his new book Muslim Families, Politics and the Law: A Legal Industry in Multicultural Britain (Ashgate, 2015).

About the Book

Contemporary European societies are multi-ethnic and multi-cultural, certainly in terms of the diversity stemming from immigration of workers and refugees. There is widespread, often acrimonious, debate about ‘other’ cultural and religious beliefs and practices and limits to their accommodation. This book focuses principally on Muslim families, and how gender relations, and associated questions of (women’s) agency, consent and autonomy, have become the focus of political and social commentary, with Muslims coming under constant public scrutiny and criticism. Islam generally and the Muslim family in particular have become highly politicised sites of contestation, and the book considers how, why and with what implications for British multiculturalism, past, present and perhaps future. The book includes a detailed overview of the public debate about the application of Islamic legal and ethical norms (Shari’a) in family law matters, especially marriage and divorce, and the associated role of Shari’a councils.

About the Author

Ralph Grillo is Emeritus Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Sussex. He was formerly Dean of the School of African and Asian Studies and founding director of the Research Centre for Culture, Development and the Environment. He has had a long-standing concern with transnational migration and ethnicity in Africa and Europe and since the mid-1990s he has focused on cultural diversity and its governance in France, Italy, and the UK. Since 2007 he has been working with anthropologists, lawyers and political scientists on cultural and religious diversity and the law in Europe and North America. His key publications include Pluralism and the Politics of Difference, Oxford 1998; The Politics of Recognizing Difference: Multiculturalism Italian Style, co-editor, Ashgate 2002; The Family in Question: Immigrant and Ethnic Minorities in Multicultural Europe, editor, Amsterdam 2008; Legal Practice and Cultural Diversity, co-editor, Ashgate 2009; co-editor of Regulation of Speech in Multicultural Societies, Routledge, 2015.


  • Werner Menski, Emeritus Professor, School of Law, SOAS
  • Dr Federica Sona, Teaching Fellow, SOAS
  • Islam Uddin, Imam and Lecturer in Islamic Studies
  • Khola Hasan, Writer, Broadcaster, Public Speaker, Consultant on Muslim Women’s Issues and Assistant Judge at the Islamic Sharia Council

This event will be followed by a drinks reception to which all attendees are invited.


For directions to the venue, please refer to the map.

How to Book

This event is free to attend, but prior registration is required. To register, please visit the School of Law Eventbrite page.

Discount copies of the book will be available on the evening.


For more information please contact

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