International expert in Islam and society to lead UniSA’s Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding

Portrait picture of Prof Riaz HassanLeading sociologist and acclaimed author and expert in Islam and society Professor Riaz Hassan, AM has been appointed to lead the University of South Australia’s International Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding in the Hawke Research Institute

Prof Hassan is visiting Research Professor at the Institute of South Asian Studies at Singapore’s National University and an Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Flinders University.

His research career in sociology Islam and Muslim societies, the sociology of housing and of suicide and suicide terrorism spans 40 years and includes significant research appointments at leading universities in Abu Dhabi, Indonesia and the United States.

UniSA Deputy Vice Chancellor: Research, Prof Tanya Monro says Prof Hassan will bring great leadership and broad research connections to the Centre. 

“Prof Hassan’s contribution is highly respected internationally and he has been a leading light in delivering quality research that feeds into the development of greater understanding between Muslim and non-Muslim societies,” Prof Monro says. 

“In Australia he has received some of the highest honors in the academic community including being made a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and awarded a member of the Order of Australia. 

“We are delighted to have him join the University in this important role.” 

A Fulbright Scholar at Ohio State University, Prof Hassan completed his PhD there in Sociology and has since worked across the globe researching everything from the global rise in suicide bombings to how Muslims conceive the separation between Islam and society. He is the author of 16 books many of which have been translated to or published in many other languages. 

Director of UniSA’s Hawke Research Institute, Prof Anthony Elliott says Prof Hassan’s appointment at the International Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding is a major development. 

“Riaz is one of Australia's top sociologists and is widely recognised as the global expert on suicide bombing,” Prof Elliott says.  

“Given current worldwide geopolitical tensions, he will bring enormous insight and provide leadership on our vital public debate concerning the best ways forward for the development and deepening of understanding between Muslim and non-Muslim communities.” 

Launched in October 2008 the Centre is dedicated to bridging the divide between the Muslim and non-Muslim worlds through reserch into questions of social justice and social inclusion and their impact on increased modern tensions. 

The Centre is a core research hub in the UniSA’s Hawke Institute. 

Prof Hassan will take up his position in January 2015. 

The brainchild of former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke, the International Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding was established in 2008 to move beyond research into Islam as a phenomenon – to examine questions of social justice and social inclusion and their impact on increased modern tensions.

 

Media contact: Michèle Nardelli office: +61 8 8302 0966 mobile: 0418 823 673 email: michele.nardelli@unisa.edu.au

 

 

 

 

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