Advisory Board

Professor Ziauddin Sardar

Ziauddin Sardar is writer, broadcaster, cultural critic, and Professor of Law and Society at Middlesex University and Co-Editor of Critical Muslim. He has been described as a “critical polymath” and works across a number of disciplines ranging from Islamic studies and futures studies to science policy, literary criticism, information science to cultural relations, art criticism and critical theory. He was born in Pakistan in 1951 and grew up in Hackney, East London.
 
He has worked as science journalist for Nature and New Scientist and as a television reporter for London Weekend Television. He was a columnist on the New Statesman for a number of years and has served as a Commissioner for the Equality and Human Rights Commission and as a member of the Interim National Security Forum.
 
Zia has published over 45 books. The Future of Muslim Civilization (1979) and Islamic Futures: The Shape of Ideas to Come (1985) are regarded as classic studies on the future of Islam. He pioneered the discussion on science in Muslim societies, with a series of articles in Nature and New Scientist and a number of books, including Science, Technology, and Development in the Muslim World (1977), The Touch of Midas: Science, Values and the Environment in Islam and the West (1982), which is seen as a seminal work, The Revenge of Athena: Science, Exploitation. and the Third World (1988) and Explorations in Islamic Science (1989). Postmodernism and the Other (1998) has acquired a cultish following and Why Do People Hate America? (2002) became an international bestseller.
 
His two volumes of biography and travel, Desperately Seeking Paradise: Journeys of a Sceptical Muslim (2004) and Balti Britain: A Provocative Journey Through Asian Britain (2008) have received wide acclaim. He has also authored a number of study guides in the Introducing series, including the international bestsellers Introducing Islam and Introducing Chaos. Two collections of his writings are available as Islam, Postmodernism, and Other Futures: A Ziauddin Sardar Reader (2003) and How Do You Know?: Reading Ziauddin Sardar on Islam, Science, and Cultural Relations (2006).
 
Zia also authored Reading the Qur’an: The Contemporary Relevance of the Sacred Text of Islam, coauthored Distorted Imagination: Lessons from the Rushdie Affair, Introducing Mathematics, and Introducing Muhammad, 2nd Edition, and edited Rescuing All Our Futures: The Future of Futures Studies.
 
He has written and presented numerous television programmes — most recently “Battle for Islam” a 90-minute documentary for BBC2 and “Dispatches” on Pakistan for Channel 4. His earlier programmes include “Encounters with Islam” (1985), a series of four shows for BBC, and “Islamic Conversations” (1994), a series of six programmes for Channel 4. He was a regular Friday Panel Member on “World News Tonight” Eon Sky News (2005–2007).
 
Zia is Chair of the Muslim Institute, a learned, fellowship society that promotes knowledge and thought from a critical Muslim perspective. He is the also the Chair of the Black Umbrella Trust, the publisher of Third Text, a journal that provides “critical perspectives on contemporary art and culture” which he coedited from 1996 to 2006.
 
He is the editor of Futures, the monthly journal of policy, planning, and futures studies, and a regular contributor to the New Statesman, the Guardian and book pages of the Independent. He is widely known for his radio and television appearances.
 
Watch Reading the Qur’an: Ziauddin Sardar, Ziauddin Sardar Interview Part 1, Ziauddin Sardar Interview Part 2, Good Muslim and Bad Muslim, Knowledge Is Light: Asia House Event, Debate: Politics and Religion, and Ziauddin Sardar “Islam, Secularism, and Pakistan” hosted by OUPakSoc. Read On Social Change and Islamic Reform. Visit his Facebook page. Read his Wikipedia profile.