Fatima Khan: Accessibility of Religious Education
Since the establishment of (probably) the first Islamic seminary in Britain in 1975, such seminaries, or darul ulooms, havebecome cornerstones for many British Muslim communities. And whilst darul ulooms have attracted much political, social, and academic interest, the conversation often overlooks, let alone interacts with Muslims with disabilities. Research exploring the experiences of Muslims with visual impairments in terms of accessing religious education suggests that the mosques in the UK are not yet equipped with tools to provide a basic religious education to children and adults with visual impairments. There also seems to be a great lack of accessible Islamic texts for Muslims with visual impairments, especially in braille. This not only isolatessuch individuals from religious gatherings and institutes, but also places many obstacles in their path of gaining religious education. This isolating experience transcends into social interaction of Muslims with visual impairments within the Muslim community. Experiencesof Muslims with disabilities studying Islam in Madrasas or the Modern Academy is a potential area of research that is yet to be explored.This presentation aims to begin a conversation about the challenges faced by Muslims with disabilities when accessing religious education and exploring practical steps towards making religious education accessible.