Advisory Board (England)

Paul Giannasi OBE

Head of the Cross Government Hate Crime Programme

Paul works in the Ministry of Justice in the United Kingdom. Since 2007 he has lead the cross-government Hate Crime Programme which brings all sectors of government together to coordinate efforts to improve the response to hate crime across the criminal justice system.

Paul is the UK National Point of Contact to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe on hate crime and has worked to share good practice within the OSCE region and within Africa.

Paul has 30 years experience as a police officer and is a member of the National Police Chief’s Council’s Hate Crime Group. He manages True Vision ( on behalf of the police and is the author of the 2014 Police Hate Crime Manual which offers guidance to all UK police officers and partners.

Paul is the co-editor of the 2014 ‘Routledge International Handbook on Hate Crime’ and ‘Tackling Disability Discrimination and Disability Hate Crime – A Multidisciplinary Guide published by Jessica Kingsley in 2015.
Paul was awarded an OBE in the 2014 New Years Honours list for services to policing, equality and human rights.

Professor Neil Chakraborti

Neil Chakraborti is a Professor of Criminology and Director of the Centre for Hate Studies at the University of Leicester. He has published extensively within the field of hate crime, and has been commissioned by the Economic and Social Research Council, the Equality and Human Rights Commission and a range of other funding bodies to conduct research on targeted hostility, victimisation and diversity. His books include Hate Crime: Impact, Causes and Responses (Sage, 2015 (2nd edition) and 2009 (1st edition) with Jon Garland); Responding to Hate Crime: The Case for Connecting Policy and Research (The Policy Press, 2014 with Jon Garland); Islamophobia, Victimisation and the Veil (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014 with Irene Zempi); Hate Crime: Concepts, Policy, Future Directions (Routledge, 2010); and Rural Racism (Routledge, 2004 with Jon Garland).

In 2012 he was appointed as a Commissioner on the first ever nationwide review of sex inside prisons, and in 2015 he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the University of Leicester for his work in the field of ethnic diversity. Neil is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Ontario, Chair of Research for the Board of Trustees of the Howard League for Penal Reform, Series Editor of Palgrave Hate Studies, and sits on the editorial boards of the British Journal of Criminology and Palgrave Communications.

Professor Francis Davis

Professor Francis Davis is Professor of Communities, Religion and Public Policy at the University of Birmingham and Visiting Fellow in Civic Innovation at Portsmouth Business School and Research Fellow at the Helen Suzman Foundation in South Africa . He has advised a number of Cabinet Ministers under the Labour and Coalition Governments and writes regularly for Con Home and religious and secular media as well as contributing to Radio 4,5,1and local radio. He is a trustee of Near Neighbours and St Ethelbergas Centre for Reconciliation and a Ministerial appointee to the Standing Commission in Carers.

Sayed Yousif al-Khoei

Sayed Yousif al-Khoei is a Director at the Al-Khoei Foundation in London, an international Islamic organisation with General Consultative status at the Economic and Social Council at the UN, which was established in 1989 by the late Shia Spiritual leader the grand imam Abu al-Qassim al-Khoei. This philanthropic Foundation operates a number of pioneering educational, social and religious programmes in the United Kingdom, as well as in New York, Montreal, Paris, Bangkok, Islamabad, Iraq and Iran as well as several other worldwide locations.

yousifSayed Yousif is actively involved in Islamic ecumenism and inter-denominational rapprochement, taking a leading role in projecting his community’s perspectives in the West and establishing Codes of Conduct for the community or sectarian disputes in the UK. In 2013 he jointly pioneered an Intra-faith unity statement. He is a regular participant and contributor to numerous inter-faith conventions and intra-faith conferences.
Sayed Yousif is a member of the Religious Education Council, Faith Forum for London, the Chaplaincy Council at the Ministry of Justice and a founding trustee of several Muslim organisations, including FAIR (Forum Against Islamophia); the National Council for the Welfare of Muslim Prisoners; Mosque and Imams National Advisory Board (MINAB) to raise standards and promote good governance for mosques and imams.
Sayed Yousif is also the Director of The Centre for Academic Shi’a Studies (CASS) that was established in 2009 with the aim of promoting original and contemporary scholarship on Shi’a Islam and Muslims. The Centre endeavours to establish itself as a consultative body that offers analytical frameworks for a number of bodies and organisations, ranging from NGOs, media outlets, academic researchers, journalists, to governmental bodies

Sayed Yousif was awarded an OBE in 2009 for his outstanding services to the community.

Dr Irene Zempi

Irene is a Lecturer in Criminology at Nottingham Trent University. Prior to this position Irene was a Teaching Fellow in Criminology at the University of Leicester. She has a PhD in Criminology and an MSc in Criminology from the University of Leicester, and a BSc in Sociology from Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences in Athens, Greece. As a practitioner, Irene has extensive experience working with victims of hate crime, domestic violence and volume crime at Victim Support, Leicester. Irene is the co-author of the book Islamophobia, Victimisation and the Veil (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014 with Dr Neil Chakraborti).

Dr Tariq Abbasi MBE

Dr. Tariq Abbasi has more than 25 years experience in serving the voluntary sector and is the author of many reports on extremisms and radicalisation. He has attended and spoken on many International conferences on peace and unity. An investment Banker, technical analyst by profession with a PhD in Artificial Intelligence.

He is currently serving as a trustee on the Board of Trust for several charities locally and Internationally.

From 1989 to 2015 he was the Trustee/Director of the Greenwich Islamic Centre where he dealt with the problems of radicalisation and expelled members of a disbanded organisation. Community cohesion was on top of the agenda.

He is also a founder member of Armed Forces Muslim Forum (AFMF).

Dr Abbasi is Chairman and Director of a property company, a shipping and Oil/ commodities FX trading company.

He is currently attending a course on Religion, Education and Democracy at the Harvard School.

Asif Sadiq

Asif is based at Guildhall Yard East in the City of London and is the Head of the Equality and Inclusion Department for the City of London Police, Asif has worked in a number of different departments within the Police Service like Counter Terrorism, Economic Crime, CID, Community Policing and the Business Policing Team. Asif has completed a Degree in Management and Human Resource Management, a Foundation Degree in Computing Science, a foundation degree in Justice Studies and a diploma in Sales and Marketing. Asif is currently working on his Master’s degree in Countering Organised Crime and Terrorism.

Asif has worked on a number of voluntary schemes to try to help people from the community and has successful run and managed a number of projects, through this work Asif has received a number of awards including the Leadership, Enterprise and Citizenship Award, Lion Heart Business Challenge Award, Year of the volunteer Award and the prestigious Mosaic Award for mentoring. Asif has also twice been a finalist for the Police Officer of the year Award. Asif has been a finalists for the Diversity Award through Jane’s Police Review, the ENEI award and the Asian Achievers Award. He was the winner last year of the NAMP Multi Faith Award, Police Officer of the Year Award, the Civil Servant of the Year Award and the prestigious Asian Professional Award. Asif Sadiq was also the President of the National Association of Muslim Police. The NAMP is a National employee network spanning across 43 Police forces and he also Chairs the London Advisory Board for Tell MAMA.

Karim Sacoor

He is a member of the Ismaili Muslim community and co founded the annual Nawruz reception celebrating the cultural festival of spring, now in its 5th year in Parliament.

He is also an Independent member of the Cross Government Advisory Group on Anti-Muslim Hatred that is supported by the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Mr Sacoor has also been instrumental in bringing together diverse communities with Parliamentarians in order to ensure greater democratic engagement and participation.


Zoe received her master’s degree in political science from the London School of Economics four years ago, and has since been working in the fields of refugee protection and race relations in the UK and Europe. She has worked for the European Council on Refugees and Exiles in Brussels and the Race Equality Foundation in the UK. She now runs the communications activity of the London-based charity Asylum Aid, which provides legal representation to refugees within the UK asylum system, and studies for a PhD at the London School of Economics on European asylum policy.

Zoe is also a trustee of the charity Medical Information for Ethnic Minorities and a steering committee member of the Movement Against Xenophobia. She is a dedicated campaigner for the rights of refugees and migrants among other causes, including as a member of the groups Solidarity with Refugees and Another Europe is Possible. She has a particular interest in feminism and the issues and specific challenges faced by refugee and migrant women in Europe and the UK.

Varinder Singh

Varinder Singh is a Councillor in the London Borough of Redbridge where he serves on the Neighborhoods Service Committee, Redbridge Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE), and until recently as the Chairman of the Equality and Diversity Advisory Panel.

He currently works as a parliamentary officer for a small but influential nuclear weapons policy think tank in Whitehall and leads on engaging UK parliamentarians on national defence and security policy matters. Prior to this role he worked as a senior aide for a backbench Member of Parliament.

Varinder has previously helped shape community campaigns across the United Kingdom aimed at tackling far-right hate groups and has advised on building community resilience. He maintains a strong interest in supporting initiatives and opportunities for social inclusion, learning and conflict resolution.

He is a former Non-Executive Director and Trustee of the Community Transport Waltham Forest, National Union of Students (NUS) and the University of Hertfordshire Students’ Union.

Dr. Imam Mamadou Bocoum

Dr. Imam Mamadou Bocoum is a holder of two Masters and a PhD from The Muslim College, and Heythrop College, University of London. He is a lecturer in Islamic Studies; a Board member of the Muslim Law Council UK and an interfaith consultant. He is currently a consultant at Faith Matters and Tell Mama.

Mamadou has authored a number of written works which have included: The Position of Jews and Christians in the Qur’an; Faith and Citizenship in Islam; The status of Women in Islam; Islamic Fundamentalism and the Qur’an.

Muhbeen Hussain

Muhbeen Hussain is the Founding member and Chief Executive of the British Muslim Youth (BMY). He has uniquely proven with is abilities that young people can make positive, lasting impacts within society. From a very tender age, he began his journey proving himself as a young activist. He slowly moved from local youth cabinets, local community engagement projects to working on national initiatives, including with the British Home Office.

Muhbeen has further worked on a number of different platforms (both in a personal capacity and connected to his role within BMY), from advisory panels on community cohesion, policing ,countering violent extremism etc. His contribution on certain topic areas has gained great recognition, for example he has advised National Governments and diplomats on Countering Violent Extremism at a European level.

One of his major successes has been through his effectiveness in engaging with people on the grass roots, to really connect them through the correct networks and enable their voices to be heard. Alongside this, he regularly delivers speeches at various prestigious events and also is a contributor and leading voice on many national media platforms.

Julian is a theology graduate from the University of Aberystwyth and is keen to encourage wider dialogue with, and ‘translate’ religious ideas for, the non-religious. He is currently writing a short book on ‘Jesus our Role Model’.

Dr Chris Allen

Dr Chris Allen is a Lecturer in Social Policy. He is based in the Department of Social Policy and Social Work, School of Social Policy at the University of Birmingham where he is the Acting Director of Undergraduate Social Policy Programmes and Programme Lead on the Policy, Politics & Economics (PPE) programme.

Dr Chris Allen was also previously a member on the Cross Government Working Group on anti-Muslim hatred and has worked for over a decade on Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred. His specialism has included looking at the media and its representation of Muslim communities and his work has led the way for others to follow. Chris also recently produced the following publication on the impacts of anti-Muslim hatred on British Muslim women.

Dr Musharraf Hussain

Dr Musharraf Hussain has been the Chief Editor of a national community magazine – ‘the Invitation’ and he was one of the founding trustees for the Muslim Hands charity. He has worked with the Department for International Development (DFiD) and Unicef. He was also the Headteacher for the Al-Karam school in Retford. He is currently the Chief Imam and Chief Executive officer for the Karimia Institute in Nottingham. In 2009 he was awarded the OBE for his work within communities and he is also an Al-Azhar graduate.

Iqbal Bhana OBE, DL

Iqbal has senior executive experience gained over many years of working in the public, the private and, the voluntary.

IqbalIqbal was Head of Equality and Diversity for over 16 years in a large Metropolitan Local Authority in the north of England. He was also the Regional Director for the Yorkshire and Humber region for the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health for over 3 years.

Iqbal has worked as an Advisor with some of the major national public bodies including the Commission for Racial Equality, The Equality and Human Rights Commission the Local Government Association, Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), National Policing Improvement Agency and the Ministry of Justice.

Iqbal was appointed by the Home Secretary to the Stephen Lawrence Steering Group as an Independent Advisor to advice on and monitor the implementation of the Macpherson Report following the murder of Stephen Lawrence. Iqbal was subsequently appointed by the Home Secretary to Chair the Racist Incident Task Group.
Iqbal is currently the Independent Deputy Chair of the Government’s cross-departmental Hate Crime Advisory Group and, an Independent Member of the Government’s Anti Muslim Hate Crime Advisory Group. In March 2014 Iqbal was appointed by the Victims Commissioner as an Independent Advisor to Victims Advisory Group.

Dr Imran Awan

Imran Awan is Senior Lecturer in Criminology and Deputy Director of the Centre for Applied Criminology at Birmingham City University. He is a leading expert in the field of counter-terrorism issues, extremism, Islamophobia and the impact of such measures upon Muslim communities. He is co-editor of the books ‘Policing Cyber Hate and Cyber Threats’ (Ashgate 2012) and ‘Extremism, Counter-Terrorism and Policing’ (Ashgate 2013). Imran has provided both oral and written evidence before the All Party Parliamentary Group on Islamophobia in the House of Commons and also sits as an independent expert on the UK Governments Cross Working Group on Anti-Muslim Hatred based in the Department for Communities and Local Government. Imrans new book ‘Islamophobia in Cyberspace’ is published by Ashgate (2015).

Mark Wilson

Mark is a recognised third sector Hate Crime specialist, who has over 8 years’ worth of experience in working in criminal justice, with 2 spent in Leicestershire Police and over 6 and a half years spent in Victim Support, the internationally renowned charity that supports victims of crime.

Mark WilsonMark joined Victim Support in 2009 to develop, and implement services around Hate Crime and Homicide for Victim Support in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

During his 6 years within Victim Support Mark has taken on many roles and gained a wide variety of experience, including been seconded as the National Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion for 12 months.
Mark was considered a subject matter expert by Victim Support on the subject of Hate crime and was consulted often by Senior Management, Policy and Communication teams for advice, guidance and information.

He was often called upon to provide research data, and policy advice to the in-house teams developing training and policy materials. During his work in victim support he was invited to join the ground breaking University of Leicester “Leicester Hate Crime Project” strategy and steering board for the life of the research project which published its research in September 2014. Mark left Victim Support in mid-2015 and is currently freelance and in the process of setting up his own social enterprise organisation to reduce the harms of hate and anti-social behaviour.

Kim Sadique

Kim Sadique is a Senior Lecturer in Community and Criminal Justice at De Montfort University, Leicester. Over the last 8 years her teaching, research and writing contributions have focused on critical forms of participation and engagement around vulnerable individuals and communities (eg radicalisation/extremism and hate crime). She is also interested in the religion-crime nexus in terms of prevention of and responses to crime. She has delivered training as part of the PREVENT Strategy. Her current research projects include work with young Muslims around Faith, Identity and Belonging as well as taking on an advisory role in the National Youth Consultation on Extremism. Kim is Lead Editor on a book entitled ‘Religion, Faith and Crime: Theories, Identities and Issues’ which is due to be published by Palgrave Macmillan later this year.

Tufyal Choudhury

Tufyal Choudhury is a lecturer at Durham Law School, where he teaches public and human rights law. His research covers issues of counterterrorism and radicalisation, racial and religious discrimination, and integration and social cohesion. He is a Senior Associate of TSAS (the Canadian Terrorism, Security and Society Research network). His current research, supported by TSAS and the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, is examining the role of Muslim civil society organisations in influencing and shaping counter terrorism legislation and policy in the UK and Canada. He is currently a member of the UK Foreign Office External Review Panel and a Trustee of the Democratic Audit and of Muslim Youth Helpline.

He was a member of the EU Network of Experts on Violent Radicalisation and chair of the Discrimination Law Association. He was a senior policy advisor to the Open Society Foundations’ At Home in Europe project where he supported the development of their research and policy advocacy in relation to Muslims and Somali in Europe as well as their work on Europe’s White working class. He is author of the Open Society’s report At Home in Europe – Muslims in Europe: an overview of 11 EU cities (Open Society Institute, 2009).

Dave Rich

Dave Rich is the Deputy Director of Communications for the Community Security Trust, a charity that monitors antisemitism and provides security advice and assistance to the UK Jewish community. He is CST’s lead analyst of antisemitic hate crime and the author of its annual Antisemitic Incidents Report. Dave is a member of the Metropolitan Police Hate Crime Diamond Group, the MOPAC London Hate Crime Panel and the CPS Community Accountability Forum hate crime sub-group.