Mona Siddiqui HRSA
Elected to the Academy as the Honorary Speaker.
Mona Siddiqui joined the University of Edinburgh’s Divinity school in December 2011 as the first Muslim to hold a Chair in Islamic and Interreligious Studies. She also holds the posts of Assistant Principal for Religion and Society and Dean international for the Middle-East at the University of Edinburgh.
Her research areas are primarily in the field of Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) and ethics and Christian-Muslim relations. Amongst her most recent publications are, 50 Ideas in Islam (Quercus, 2016), Muslim Christian Encounters 4 volumes, (Routledge, 2016) Hospitality in Islam: Welcoming in God’s Name (Yale UP, 2015), My Way: A Muslim Woman’s Journey (IB Tauris, 2014), Christians, Muslims and Jesus (Yale University Press, 2013) and The Good Muslim: Reflections on Classical Islamic Law and Theology (Cambridge University Press, 2012).
Her most recent monograph based on her Gifford lectures on the theme of human struggle is currently in press with CUP and will be published in January 2021. She has held research grants from the John Templeton Foundation and the Henry Luce Foundation on Christian- Muslim studies. Her most recent grants are from the Issachar Fund on the theme of Gratitude in Christian and Islamic thought; an edited volume on this topic will be published by CUP 2021. Issachar Fund continue to support her work with a new grant beginning January 2021 on the theme of Loyalty in Christian and Islamic thought.
She has held visiting professorships at several Dutch and American universities and in 2014 gave a series of lectures as a Humanitas Professor at the University of Cambridge.
Professor Siddiqui is also well known internationally as a public intellectual and a speaker on issues around religion, ethics and public life. She is a regular commentator in the media, known especially for her appearances on BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio Scotland’s Thought for the Day. In June 2016, she became a panellist on BBC Radio 4’s award winning The Moral Maze. In 2012, she appeared as a guest on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs and in July 2015, was a guest on BBC Radio 3’s Private Passions. She chairs the BBC’s Religious Advisory Committee in Scotland and during 2016 served as chair of the Scotland `Stronger In’ pro Europe campaign.
In April 2016, she was invited by the Home Office to lead an independent review of shari`a councils in the UK; the report was published by the Home Office in February 2018. She served as an elected member of the Nuffield Council of Bioethics and as a member of the British Medical Associations’ Medical Ethics Committee until June 2018. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, holds six honorary doctorates and an honorary fellowship of the Royal Society of Scottish Architects for her contributions to public life. In September 2019, she was a judge on the prestigious Andrew Doolan award for the best building in Scotland. In 2020, she was invited to join the Advisory Council of Wilton Park, an executive arm of the Foreign and Commonwealth office. In September 2020, she was invited to join the board of the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation.
In 2011, she was awarded an OBE for her contribution to interfaith services. In 2014 she spoke on religion and politics at the World Economic Forum in Davos and in 2017 was listed in the Debretts top 500 list of the most influential people in the UK. In April 2019, she received the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Hubert Walter Award for Reconciliation and Interfaith Cooperation. In April 2019 she was elected a Fellow of the American Academy for Arts and Sciences.