Sherin KhankanKeynote Speaker
Lecturer Sherin Khankan holds an MA in Sociology of Religion and Philosophy from University of Copenhagen and is specialised in contemporary Islamic activism in the Middle East. She studied Arabic and Islamic spiritual care and is also a cognitive psychotherapist, activist and author of 4 books.
In 2014, she founded an NGO called The Exitcircle – against psychological violence and social control. Today she is the CEO and responsible for 40 volunteer workers and 7 self-help groups in Denmark combatting mental abuse.
In 2016, Sherin Khankan and a group of Muslim scholars and activists launched The Mariam Mosque – Scandinavia’s first mosque with female imamahs conducting Friday prayer, Islamic ceremonies (interfaith marriages, divorces etc.), offering Islamic spiritual care, and leading an Islamic Academy. The Mariam Mosque works to challenge patriarchal structures in the leadership of religious worship and education, and to challenge men’s monopoly on the interpretation of the Quran.
In 2016, Sherin Khankan led the first Friday prayer in the Mariam Mosque and subsequently made international headlines (The Guardian, Le Monde, New Yorks Times, BBC World, BBC Arabic etc). In 2016, she featured on BBC’s list of 100 leading female pioneers in the world.
Sherin Khankan is the author of 4 books on Islam in Europe and in 2017 she published La Femme est l’avenir de l’Islam – Le combat d’une Imame in France. Women are the Future of Islam has been sold in the UK, Finland and Spain.
In March 2018, Sherin Khankan was invited to Elysse in Paris by the French President Emmanuel Macron for a private conversation about reform Islam in Europe. The President had read her book.
In September 2018, Sherin Khankan received The Global Hope Award and was titled a “Hero” by The Global Hope Coalition in New York at an event with State leaders from different parts in the world.
She is the mother of 4 children and has a Christian Finnish mother and a Syrian father, who came to Denmark as a political refugee.