Areas of Expertise (9)
Conspiracy Theories of Lockdown
Professor Imran Awan is Professor of Criminology in the School of Social Sciences at Birmingham City University. He is one of the UK’s leading criminologists and experts on Islamophobia and countering extremism. He uses his extensive research knowledge to inform practitioners and policy-makers on effective measures in tackling some of the most important issues our society faces. His interdisciplinary research has led to multiple publications in several other areas of the social sciences. He has an ESRC grant to explore conspiracy theories (especially relating to Muslim communities) during the COVID-19 outbreak and lockdown.
Imran’s impact goes beyond academia as he works with communities and politicians to raise awareness of Islamophobic hate crimes. He has been described by the British Muslim Awards as a one of the “most influential Muslims in Britain” and The Muslim News described his work as “a much-needed antidote to difficult times in which hate crimes have increased.” He has advised the government at 10 Downing Street and is an independent advisor for the British Government on Islamophobia.
Winner of Researcher of the Year
Birmingham City University Extra Mile Awards, 2016-2017
Shortlisted as a finalist for the British Muslims Awards
Shortlisted as a finalist for the Researcher of the Year Awards
Birmingham City University: Ph.D. 2015
University of Wolverhampton: L.L.M. 2008
University of Wolverhampton: PGCE 2005
University of Wolverhampton: L.L.B. 2002
- Fellow, Higher Education Academy
- Member, Police Community and Conflict Transformation Group
- Member, The British Society of Criminology
- Member, Welsh Centre for Crime and Social Justice
- Member, UK Centre for Legal Education
- Member, The Society of Legal Scholars
Media Mentions (5)
Police and MPs criticise last-minute coronavirus lockdown in north of England
The Guardian online
Imran Awan, a professor of criminology at Birmingham City University and the co-author of a report that warned in April that Muslims were being targeted using conspiracy theories claiming they are spreading coronavirus by violating lockdown, likened the controversy around the new rules to “trigger events” such as terror attacks, which lead to spikes in hate crime.
Islamophobia and the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK
Observer Research Foundation online
In a recent study carried out by Imran Awan, Professor at Birmingham City University, and Roxana Khan-Williams concluded that Islamophobic online ‘cyber hubs’ were being formed which linked Muslims to the spread of COVID-19 in the form of spreading anti-Muslim memes and sharing fake news stories. The upsurge of false news and the spread on social media has led to an increase in the already existing myths produced by the far-right. While the world is struggling with the pandemic, hate speech related to the virus is spreading online almost as fast as the virus itself.
Fake coronavirus news stories increase online Islamophobia, study finds
I Am Birmingham online
The study carried out by Imran Awan, Professor of Criminology at Birmingham City University and Roxana Khan-Williams, found that Islamophobic online ‘Cyber Hubs’ were being formed which share fake news that links UK Muslims to the spread of coronavirus.
Conspiracies ‘could inspire attacks on UK Muslims’
Arab News online
“The COVID-19 crisis has been used to create ‘others’ of Muslims, blaming them for the spread of the virus. The spread of fake news online is contributing to this extremely worrying trend,” coauthor Imran Awan, a criminology professor at Birmingham City University and an independent member of the Anti-Muslim Hatred Working Group, told The Independent newspaper.
Coronavirus: British Muslims prepare to celebrate Ramadan under lockdown
Middle East Eye online
A study carried out by Imran Awan, professor of criminology at Birmingham City University, and Roxana Khan-Williams found that Islamophobic online "cyber hubs" were being formed linking Muslims to the spread of Covid-19, spreading anti-Muslim memes and sharing fake news stories.