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About

Born and raised in Bradford, West Yorkshire and now residing in Hertfordshire, Sara Khan is is one of the UK’s leading Muslim female voices on countering Islamist extremism and promoting human rights. She helped co-found Inspire (www.wewillinspire.com), a counter-extremism and women’s rights organisation in 2008 with the aim of challenging gender inequality and Islamist extremism.

What they say:

“[Khan] has stood up against patriarchy, challenged extremist Muslims and thrown the gauntlet down to far-right extremists.” Aftab Malik, United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Global Expert on Muslim affairs

“Her voice—not the braying of the separatists—could be the sound of our shared future.” Professor Alan Johnson, World Affairs Journal

“An extremely clever woman…no-one is doing what she is doing. What she says so artlessly - is not being said, and certainly not so straightforwardly, by anyone else. ” Vogue Magazine

“A courageous Muslim campaigner for women's rights.” Standpoint Magazine

"The political space occupied by activists and campaigners like Sara Khan is vanishingly narrow. But it is upon the shoulders of activists like her that Gilles Kepel placed the hopes of a liberal counter-insurgency back in 2004: It is “these young men and women” he wrote, “[who] will present a new face of Islam – reconciled with modernity – to the larger world.” Quillette

"What Sara is fantastic at doing is making it come to life and making it real. She gives people permission to discuss these things, because she’s doing it. She makes it very human, she brings in human stories. I think she’s absolutely amazing, fearless, and I’ve learnt loads from her. She’s doing all this in a vacuum and it’s astonishing.” Anna Cole, Association of School and College Leaders

“One of the things you notice about Sara Khan is how little she changes as she moves between the various worlds that she inhabits. Whether in the offices of headteachers, meetings with politicians, or the anonymous reaches of lecture theatres and conference centres, she is the same passionate and energetic presence. There was a revealing moment at the teachers’ conference in Blackfriars, when a gaggle of important-looking suits were waiting to whisk her off to a meeting, and she stopped for a long conversation with a young, bearded, thawb-wearing IT teacher from Plaistow who had approached with a question. The quality of her attention was extraordinary, and her answers – at least from what I was able to earwig – both subtle and sensitive.” Alex Preston, Journalist, The Guardian (The Long Read)

"Sara is so inspiring. To have someone like her come and speak to us, it makes us feel we can really achieve something.” Female Muslim pupil at Crest Academy, Neasden

“Thank you - your article was the best, most insightful article I have read since the awful events of the weekend (London Bridge attacks.) I hope that your excellent work can be shared across British society and I hope that politicians, policy makers and the media will take note of your important messages and work.” Henry, London via email

“It is refreshing not only to see someone who sees the problem/challenge in the same way but is also willing to speak frankly about it to make a difference. I would love to get involved and contribute to some of your positive work in whichever way I can. Thank you for being OUR voice of reason.” Saigal, Manchester via email










Sara Khan speaking on a panel at Chatham House, June 2015.

Awards

29 September, 2016

Marie Claire Future Shapers Groundbreaking Activist 2016

Sara was named as 2016's groundbreaking activist at the forefront of fighting extremism in the UK

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12 May, 2016

Asian Women of Achievement Awards 2016 - Social and Humanitarian

Sara won the Social and Humanitarian award at the Asian Women of Achievement Awards for her counter-extremism and women's rights work.

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25 January, 2016

Debretts 500

Debretts along with the Sunday Times newspaper list Sara Khan as one of Britain’s most 500 influential people in the War and Peace category in 2015 and again in 2016. The award recognises recognition of the importance of Sara’s work in striving towards a more peaceful and inclusive society.

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1 July, 2015

BBC Woman's Hour 2015 Top 10 Power List: Influencers

The aim of this year’s list was to identify a range of women who have an exceptionally large impact on our lives, not just because of their job title but because of their personal ability to influence others. It features women involved in areas ranging from politics and fashion to journalism and entertainment.

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2 March, 2015

2015 Kraemer Middle East Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence

In March 2015 Sara was named the 2015 Kraemer Middle East Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence, the Wendy & Emery Reves Center for International Studies and the Program in Comparative Legal Studies and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding at the William & Mary School of Law in Williamsburg, Virginia, USA.

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22 May, 2009

Equality and Human Rights Commission Muslim Women’s Power List.

In March 2009, Sara was listed in the Equality and Human Rights Commission Muslim Women’s Power List.

Equality and Human Rights Commission Muslim Women’s Power List.

In March 2009, Sara was listed in the Equality and Human Rights Commission Muslim Women’s Power List.

Recognition

1 May, 2017

Standpoint Magazine reputations: Profile

Nick Cohen writes for Standpoint; Sara Khan is a "courageous Muslim campaigner for women's rights who faces misogyny, intolerance and extremism."

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4 September, 2016

Profile in the Sunday Times

"I'm taking on the Islamists but where is your backbone?" In an interview with Rosie Kinchen, Sara argues that the real challenge lies with combatting the toxic narrative and activism of Salafi-Islamists in the UK.

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3 September, 2016

BBC HardTalk

Sara speaks to Sarah Montague about her work on the frontline in the UK countering radicalisation.

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26 June, 2016

Desert Island Discs

Interviewed by Kirsty Young for the British institution that is BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs

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15 January, 2016

Profile of Sara Khan in the Independent

Twitter abuse, gender-segregation on campuses, and Islamist extremism

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28 October, 2015

Profile of Sara Khan in The Guardian:

The Long Read “It’s up to us to stop these Muslim girls making the worst mistake of their lives” by Alex Preston

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22 January, 2016

Profile of Sara Khan in Cherwell

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10 June, 2015

Profile of Sara Khan in British Vogue

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24 September, 2014

Sara Khan in the Telegraph

Why young Muslim women are speaking out against the Islamic State on the streets of London

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Advisory/Expert contributions

2005

After the London bombings Sara sat on the Home Office’s Tackling Extremism and Radicalisation Working Group.

2014

Contributed to the Government’s Extremism Taskforce

2014-2015

Appointed on the Department for International Development’s (DFID) External Expert Advisory Group on Girls and Women, advising the International Development Secretary Justine Greening.

2015-Present

Appointed to sit on the Department for Education’s Due Diligence and Counter-Extremism Expert Reference Group

2015-Present

Contributed to the Prime Minister’s Community Engagement Forum

2015/2016

Given evidence to the:
- European Parliament on radicalisation
- Home Affairs Select Committee on countering extremism
- Joint Commitee on Human Rights (UK Parliament)

2015

Assisted the Association of Schools and College Leaders (ASCL) on delivering training to teachers on safeguarding pupils from extremism across the UK

2015

Worked in partnership with the London Grid for Learning to develop an online resource for teachers on safeguarding children from Islamist extremism