Does Islam Need A Reformation?

On Friday 26th February 2016, iERA held its fourth ‘Don’t Hate, Debate!’ entitled ‘Does Islam Need A Reformation?’

The debate was chaired by journalist and broadcaster, Lauren Booth.

She was joined by:

  • Tom Holland – Historian
  • Safaruk Chowdhury – Theologian
  • Zara Faris – Muslim Debate Initiative
  • Theo Hobson – Journalist & Theologian
  • Abdullah Al Andalusi – Muslim Debate Initiative
  • Dr Taj Hargey – Muslim Educational Centre Of Oxford
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How Free Is Speech?

On Friday 13th February 2015, the Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA) held their inaugural ‘Don’t Hate, Debate!’ event entitled “The Big Question: How Free is Speech?”


Held at the state-of-the-art Blizard Building at Queen Mary University of London’s Whitechapel campus, the discussion was well attended with a diverse audience of more than 300 people, which included academics, students, medical professionals, journalists, politicians, and community leaders of all faiths and none.

Inevitably, there were some heated discussions between the panellists, who differed in their views on the objectives and application of free speech in light of the unfortunate Charlie Hebdo incident that took place last month. Other themes explored included the media satirising religion and the war on terror.

Most importantly, these topics and opinions which many on the panel and in the audience found distasteful were discussed in a civilised, polite and compassionate manner. There were no incidents of any speaker or member of the audience being warned by the chair for their behaviour or language.

‘The Big Question: How Free Is Speech?’ took place on Friday 13th February 2015 at Queen Mary University of London with a diverse panel of speakers including:

Chairperson: Yvonne Ridley


• Dan Hodges (The Telegraph)
• Hamza Tzortzis (iERA)
• Professor Peter Cave (British Humanist Association)
• Abdullah Al Andalusi (Muslim Debate Initiative)
• Andre Walker (Breitbart, London)
• Moazzam Begg (CAGE)


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Does Islam Clash With British Values?

On Friday 12th June 2015, iERA held its second ‘Don’t Hate, Debate!’ event on the compatibility of Islam and British values.’


After the successful launch of the ‘Don’t Hate, Debate!’ campaign, and the huge support for its inaugural ‘How Free is Speech?’ event in February, there was a big demand from the general public to see a second cross panel debate to discuss another contentious topic relating to the Muslim community.

The ‘Does Islam Clash with British Values?’ event took place at the Hallmark Hotel in Croydon. After three venue changes at very short notice, more than a hundred people attended. Unfortunately, due to differing reasons, three of the panellists were not able to participate. For a detailed account of what took place during the build up of the event, why venues were changed and speakers pulled out, please read the following article on 5Pillars News.

Nevertheless, the unforeseen complications did not stop people of all faiths and none, and members of the press attending the event to see a robust discussion with iERA’s Head of Education and Research Hamza Tzortzis, Reverend Frank Gelli and Abdullah al Andalusi from the Muslim Debate Initiative.

Chairperson: Sajid Varda

• Tommy Robinson – Former Head of the English Defence League (No-show)
• Anne Marie Waters – Head of Sharia Watch and UKIP (No-show)
• Paul Golding – Leader of Britian First (No-show)
• Hamza Tzortzis – Head of Education and Research at iERA
• Reverend Frank Gelli – Blogger and Activist
• Abdullah Al Andalusi – Muslim Debate Initiative


Is Islam the Cause or Solution to Extremism -  Website_iERA Website Homepage Banner

Is Islam The Cause Or Solution To Extremism?

On Friday 16th Oct 2015, the Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA) held a cross-panel debate on the criminalisation of Islam and tackling extremism in London entitled, “The Big Question: Is Islam The Cause Or Solution To Extremism?”


Chairperson: Peter Oborne, former Chief Political Commentator for The Telegraph


• Fiyaz Mughal – Tell MAMA
• Mohammed Amin – Conservative Muslim Forum
• Hamza Tzortzis – iERA
• Zara Faris – Muslim Debate Initiative
• Dr. Anas Altikriti – Cordoba Foundation
• Peter Tatchell – Peter Tatchell Foundation