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Elected 2024

Bio

Zuleyha is the Associate Head of School at the Centre for Islamic Studies and Civilisation (CISAC) and a lecturer in Islamic Spirituality and Contemporary Islamic Studies. Zuleyha co-founded ISRA Academy in 2009 with the vision to establish university level Islamic studies courses that teach both classical and contemporary Islamic studies at university level. This led to the establishment of the Centre for Islamic Studies and Civilisation (CISAC) at Charles Sturt University. Zuleyha facilitated the development of the Bachelor of Islamic Studies, Bachelor of Islamic Studies (Honours), Master of Islamic Studies, Master of Classical Arabic, and most recently, the Graduate Certificate in Islamic Psychology. Zuleyha has been the Course Director at Charles Sturt University for these courses since their inception in 2010. Zuleyha is also the Editor in Chief of the Australian Journal of Islamic Studies (AJIS).

Contact

zkeskin@csu.edu.au

Dr Jan Ali

VICE PRESIDENT

Bio

Jan A. Ali (PhD) is a Religious Sociologist specialising in Islam. He is a Senior Lecturer in Islam and Modernity in the School of Humanities and Communication Arts at the Western Sydney University. He was the Convenor of Islamic Studies in the School of Humanities and Communication Arts and Community and Research Analyst in the Religion and Society Research Centre at the Western Sydney University. Jan is the Founding Convenor of WSU Postgraduate Islamic Studies Network. His recent book entitled Islam and Muslims in Australia: Settlement, Integration, Shariah, Education and Terrorism was published in 2020 by University of Melbourne Press. He studies existential Islam from a sociological perspective.

Contact

jan.ali@westernsydney.edu.au

Bio

Eva Nisa is a cultural anthropologist and expert in Islamic studies. Prior to her post in Anthropology, College of Asia and the Pacific, the Australian National University, she taught in Religious Studies, Victoria University of Wellington. Currently, she is also Adjunct Research Fellow in the School of Social and Cultural Studies, Victoria University of Wellington and Honorary Research Associate, the Faculty of Graduate Research, Victoria University of Wellington. She received her Bachelor’s degree from al-Azhar University in Egypt, with a specialisation in Qur’anic exegesis. She then continued her MA degree in Islamic Studies at the Faculty of Humanities, Universiteit Leiden in the Netherlands. Her research and publications focus on the intersections between religious, cultural, political, economic, legal, social, and philosophical aspects of peoples’ lives. The core of her research is to analyse diverse aspects of how religion functions in the lives of believers. Currently, she serves on the editorial board of The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology.

Contact

eva.nisa@anu.edu.au

Bio

Ahmad Hassan is an Islamic Studies lecturer at Charles Sturt University. He has developed and teaches the Islamic Economy, Banking and Finance subject. He also co-developed the Islamic History and World Religions subjects. He is currently a Board Member and Treasurer of ISRA. He has previously held the roles of President and Secretary of the ISRA Academy. Ahmad has served as a Director, Chief Financial Officer and Finance Director of several Australian and International corporations. In addition, he has worked and volunteered with several community organisations. He is a Certified Practicing Accountant (CPA) and holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting and Management Studies and Master of Islamic Studies. His area of research is governance in Islamic Finance.

Contact

ahassan@csu.edu.au

Mirela Cufurovic

GENERAL EXECUTIVE

Bio

Mirela Cufurovic is a historian of Australian Muslim and Bosnian Muslim history and identity. Mirela teaches history at Western Sydney University, tutors First Nations students in history and sociology at the University of Sydney and Charles Sturt University, and is the assistant editor of the Australian Journal of Islamic Studies. Mirela has completed a Bachelor of Political, Economic and Social Sciences (BPESS) and is a History Honours Class I graduate from the University of Sydney. She graduated with a Masters degree (with Distinction) in Islamic Studies from Charles Sturt University, and is currently completing her PhD on the new history of Muslims in Australia. Mirela is currently writing an oral history biography on the life of Sheikh Fehmi El-Imam, a Muslim pioneer in post-war Australia. Mirela’s area interests are: Australian Muslim and Balkan history, Oral history, and the History of Emotions.

Contact

mcufurovic@csu.edu.au

Dr Sara Cheikh Husain

GENERAL EXECUTIVE

Bio

Sara Cheikh Husain is an early career researcher who has just finished her PhD at Alfred Deakin institute for citizenship and Globalisation ADI at Deakin university. Her research, funded by the UNESCO Chair for Comparative Research on cultural diversity and Social Justice, explores Victorian Muslim Community Organisations’ perceptions of Islamophobia and responses to Islamophobia. Sara has published in academic journals and presented at various conferences. She worked with the Australian Muslim Advocacy Network AMAN to co-produce a supplementary document to AMAN’s input to the report on Anti-Muslim hatred and discrimination by the UN special rapporteur on freedom of religion and belief (2020). Since 2018, Sara has been a member of the Challenging Racism Project CRP at Western Sydney University and is currently a causal research fellow at ADI, a researcher at Our Race social enterprise and a tertiary tutor at Macquarie University. She is also working on turning her thesis into a book.

Contact

s.cheikhhusain@deakin.edu.au

Dr Paul Mitchell

GENERAL EXECUTIVE

Bio

Paul Mitchell is an early career researcher based at Griffith University. He recently completed his PhD and is currently a sessional academic and Adjunct Fellow at Griffith's Centre for Social and Cultural Research. Prior to completing his PhD, he received his Bachelor's Degree from Griffith University, specialising in Islamic Studies and Islam-West Relations. He then completed a Master of Middle Eastern and Central Asian Studies at the Australian National University. With an interest in global politics and the sociology of religion, his research and publications focus on contemporary Islam-West Relations, Muslim communities in Australia and religious conversion. Paul is currently working on a monograph focusing on the phenomenon of conversion to Islam in contemporary Australian society.

Contact

paul.mitchell@griffith.edu.au

Past Presidents

Bio

A/Prof Rane is a leading scholar of Islamic Studies, specialising in Islam-West Relations, and recognised for innovative and transformative teaching, research, and community engagement. His work addresses security and coexistence challenges, producing and transferring knowledge and understanding that benefits students, scholars and society. The issues he addresses concern Islam and Muslims in contexts of geopolitical conflicts, media representations, religious/ideological extremism, and interreligious relations. A/Prof Rane has authored or co-authored over 60 publications, including six books. He is a founding executive member and previous president of the Australian Association of Islamic and Muslim Studies (AAIMS).

Contact

h.rane@griffith.edu.au

Bio

Shahram Akbarzadeh is a Research Professor in Middle East and Central Asian Politics at Deakin University and the Deputy Director (International) of the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University (Australia). He held a prestigious ARC Future Fellowship (2013 - 2016) on the Role of Islam in Iran’s Foreign Policy-making and recently completed a Qatar Foundation grant on Sectarianism in the Middle East. Prof Akbarzadeh has an extensive publication record and has contributed to public debate on topics such as democracy and political processes in the Middle East, regional rivalry and Islamic militancy. He has also researched and published on Muslim integration in Australia and citizenship debates. Prof Akbarzadeh was the founding President of the Australian Association of Islamic and Muslim Studies (AAIMS).

Contact

shahram.akbarzadeh@deakin.edu.au