Our Team

Important update from Inspire

July 2017

Welcome to Inspire, an independent non-governmental counter-extremism and women’s rights organisation. Almost ten years old, Inspire has been at the forefront of empowering women, championing gender equality and countering extremist narratives.  In 2008, frustrated with the lack of concern and will from many so-called representative Muslim organisations (who were typically male-led) in addressing both extremism and women’s rights, Inspire was founded.  Since that time, some of our work has included:

 

This is just a flavour of some our work.  Remarkably we have never had more than 2 full time and 1 part time employee in carrying out such cutting edge initiatives and projects.  Our funding has included donations from the public and private philanthropists, support from foundations and charities including Sigrid Rausing Trust and Barrow Cadbury, and in the case of our anti-ISIS project, the Home Office. (For clarity sake we have never received core funding from the Home Office, nor received any funding from them for over 2 years since the end of our Making A Stand campaign.)

Yet now more than ever, the work of Inspire is critical.  As we witness the rise of all forms of extremism and the threat this poses to women’s rights in particular, the increasing polarisation and division in our society, Inspire’s aims which include defending our shared values and challenging hate is vital.

Which is why we would like to inform you that Inspire is currently undergoing a stage of transformation and transition.  Over the next few months we are pleased to say that we are in the process of restructuring the organisation.  Our aim is to become bigger and better.  This is an exciting time for us, but we ask you to please be patient with us during this time. We are going to be very busy behind the scenes building Inspire.  While we will still be operating and working on a number of important projects, we are temporarily unable to resume many of our current services but please still contact us at info@wewillinspire.com if you have a particular request and we will try our utmost to meet your needs.  If you want to speak to Sara Khan directly, you can contact her at mail@sarakhan.co.uk.

Over the years, the positive response we have received from ordinary members of the public (both Muslims and non-Muslims) has been incredible.  We have received hundreds and hundreds of emails, phone calls and other messages.  Many Muslims tell us that our work is essential in challenging the regressive and anti-human rights Muslim lobbies who claim to speak on their behalf.  Non-Muslims tell us that we are a voice of reason and that we are a vision of how it is possible for Muslims and non-Muslims to live together in our country we all call home.   Their words of support (and donations) in urging us to continue, to never stop doing what we do, is a heavy responsibility we take seriously and profoundly.  Which is why we are looking to expand Inspire over the next few months.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our supporters over the years and all those who continue to donate to us.  We would not be here today without your solidarity.

We look forward to updating you on our work and organisation over the next few months.

WATCH THIS SPACE!!

 

 

Sara Khan by Joe McGorty

Sara Khan

Director and Co-founder

“Her voice—not the braying of the separatists could be the sound of our shared future.”  Sara Khan has also been described as having “stood up against patriarchy, challenged extremist Muslims and thrown the gauntlet down to far right extremists.”

Sara is an award winning human rights and counter-extremism activist and author of the best-selling book “The Battle for British Islam: Reclaiming Muslim Identity from Extremism.”

Having worked and actively campaigned for women’s rights within Muslim communities for over 20 years, Sara co-founded Inspire in 2008 to empower Muslim women, raise awareness of their inequalities and challenge the growing extremism often justified in the name of Islam.

Sara was named by BBC Woman’s Hour as one of the Top 10 most influential women in 2015.  In January 2015 and again in 2016, Sara was recognised as one of Britain’s 500 most influential people, in the prestigious Debrett’s War and Peace category as someone who is working towards peace and stability in the United Kingdom.  In March 2015 she 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.  In 2016, Sara was winner of the Asian Women and Achievement Award in the Social and Humanitarian category.  Sara has been profiled in the Guardian, the Sunday Times, the Independent and Vogue magazine.

She has written comment pieces for the Guardian, the Independent, the Telegraph, the New York Times, the National UAE, the New Statesman and Huffington Post.  She has also appeared on Channel 4 News, Sky News Murnaghan, ITV News, BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ Programme, CNN Amanpour, BBC Woman’s Hour among others.  She has been interviewed for BBC Desert Island Discs and BBC HardTalk.  She is regularly asked to speak at conferences, universities and colleges both at home and internationally.

Creative in her approach, she helped lead Inspire’s Jihad Against Violence and #MakingAStand campaign.  Throughout her life, Sara has led on a number of innovative projects which have included leadership training, capacity building, women’s rights and the role Muslim women can play in countering extremism.   After the 7/7 bombings she sat on the Home Office’s Tackling Extremism and Radicalisation Working Group and also sat on the Government’s Department for International Development’s (DFID) External Expert Advisory Group on Girls and Women advising the International Development Secretary.  She is currently sitting on the Department for Education’s Due Diligence and Counter-Extremism Expert Reference Group.

A born human rights activist she completed an MA in Understanding and Securing Human Rights. Sara is also a qualified hospital pharmacist and has a Masters in Pharmacy.  Sara has written a chapter for the book “Sensible Religion” published in September 2014 entitled “Retrieving the Equilibrium and restoring Justice: Using Islam’s Egalitarian Teachings to reclaim Women’s Right.”

Sara is available for public speaking. To get in touch directly with Sara please email mail@sarakhan.co.uk or visit her website www.sarakhan.co.uk.

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Yasmin Weaver

Project Manager

Yasmin formally joined Inspire in April 2016 as Project Manager following a successful career as a Business Development within Recruitment and Professional Services over 12 years.  Yasmin graduated in Medieval and Modern History at the University of Birmingham  and went on to specialise in working with the public sector. Over the years, Yasmin built up detailed and vast understanding of key issues and challenges facing statutory bodies in the UK.  Her most recent post prior to Inspire was working with PwC identifying opportunities, managing relationships and advising proposals across the Midlands. Over the years, Yasmin has also been an activist against extremism and for women’s rights.


Following the birth of her daughter, Yasmin decided to focus her skillsets and energy towards work that will eventually make the world a better place for her children- hence the move to Inspire. She has joined Inspire to improve day to day operations and communication as well as manage and coordinate fundraising and proposal activities in addition to key projects.