Christchurch mosque massacre is yet another addition to our hall of shame!

1The horrifying massacre of forty-nine Muslims in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, has shaken the entire world. New Zealand is known for its pluralistic history and pro-diversity policies. The incident is a somber reminder that issues of religious, ethnic and racial divisions and ‘othering’ are not only evident, mostly in a subtle way, in terms of subconscious bias and discrimination in organizations and wider societies but also continue to demonstrate themselves in the shape of violence.

As my co-authors and I write in our book on ‘faith-based violence’, and also in my recent article, with Edwina Pio, on ‘a poetics perspective’ on Muslims in the West, the issues of Islamophobia and Islamist Takfiri militancy are Continue reading

Diversity, we’ve got to do much more!

epDr Edwina Pio, New Zealand’s first and only professor of diversity and director of diversity at AUT, says while it’s wonderful to celebrate diversity through festivals, “we’ve got to do much more”.

It’s important that education institutions, as well as organisations, when they talk of diversity it’s more than butter chicken, more than Diwali, more than moon cakes and more than Chinese New Year.

Large countries such as India or China, where a lot of migrants come from, are “so heterogenous” she says, “you can’t use one broad template for everyone”.

Migration is a reality, Pio says. “When we think of the future of New Zealand, it is going to get browner, it is going to get older.” That’s why it’s important Aucklanders are comfortable living alongside people from diverse backgrounds.


Diversity, Peace and the Future of Leadership in the United States

picThe world today, more than ever, is in need of leaders who could work towards weaving and achieving a shared vision of diversity and peace, a vision that could in turn enable an inclusive notion of prosperity. History has shown that an enduring peace is possible only through reconciliation, equality and justice, not through divisiveness, ethnocentrism and injustice.

In this backdrop, there is immense responsibility on the shoulders of global leaders, particularly of countries rich in resources or population, to step up to the plate and acknowledge that together we have failed to address
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Creating Inclusive Organizational and Public Spaces



The Centre for Governance and Public Management (CGPM) housed at the Suleman Dawood School of Business (SDSB), Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) organised an International Conference on ‘Creating Inclusive Organizational and Public Spaces’ on March 30-31, 2018.

Renowned academics, development practitioners, post-graduate and undergraduate research students and professionals from numerous business and civil society organisations attended and participated in the Conference.

The two-day event commenced with an inauguration ceremony where Professor Dr. S. Sohail H. Naqvi, Vice Chancellor, LUMS, Dr. Jawad Syed, Dean SDSB and Dr. M. Azfar Nisar, Director CGPM welcomed the audience with their inspirational and refreshing remarks.

The inauguration was followed by the first keynote speaker session of the conference, where Dr. Beverly Dawn Metcalfe, Associate Professor in International Management and Development, Suliman S. Olayan School of Business, American University of Beirut, Lebanon delivered an invigorating keynote speech on Islamic Feminism.

The Conference sessions evolved around a
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Role of education in countering extremism and intolerance



mashal_khanDr. Jawad Syed recently spoke with the newspaper, Pakistan Today, about “Role of Education in Countering Extremism and Intolerance”. He spoke about the importance of tolerance in educational institutes and sharing of knowledge, belief and ideas without conflict. On April 13, 2017, Mashal Khan, 23, a student at the Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan was lynched by a mob, allegedly comprising of his fellow students riled up by allegations of blasphemy against the young man.

The extract of the interview is given below, while the entire script is given here: ‘Justice for Mashal Khan is good, preventing such monstrosities from happening is better’

“A few very important things should promptly be added to the co/extracurricular activities,” said Jawad Syed, Dean of the Suleman Dawood School of Business at LUMS. “The concept of pluralism that two or
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Professor Edwina Pio appointed as a trustee of the religious diversity centre



IMG_3424Professor Edwina Pio (centre) with Adrian Rurawhe – assistant speaker Labour, Dame Susan Devoy – race relations commissioner, Dr Maureen Siehr (Director Interfaith Scotland), Jocelyn Armstrong – Chair Religious Diversity Centre, Labour MP Anahila Kanongata’a-Suisuiki, and trustees of the Religious Diversity Centre.

Professor Edwina Pio, who works and researches in the area of religious diversity at work, has been appointed as a trustee of the religious diversity centre. This is a national centre of educational and research excellence, fostering an appreciation for and understanding of religious diversity amongst all New Zealanders, under the leadership of the chair Jocelyn Armstrong. Rt Hon Helen Clark, is the patron and she notes: “the world badly needs voices of reason and tolerance and those who will work to build dialogue and respect across faiths and beliefs. I do believe New Zealand can show the way.”

New Zealand is one of the most religiously diverse nations in our fragile planet earth, despite the growing number of individuals who tick no religion for the census. While predominantly Christian, New Zealand now has significant communities of Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Baha’i and Jews whose work and religious lives interweave. The expression of religion at work and sacred spaces in often ‘secular’ workplaces is often challenging for employers and employees. New Zealand is more religiously diverse than countries such as Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Indonesia and Spain. There is also intra religious diversity such as Christians from India, the Middle East, Korea, China and the Pacific Islands. Professor Pio emphasises the need for inner disarmament so that policies and practices for religious diversity are carefully calibrated with grace and gratitude.

Building staff engagement for uncharted waters – Professor Peter Murray


Peter Murray (PM) – My name is Peter Murray I’m the Professor of Management at the School of Management and Enterprise at the University of Southern Queensland
Well my research typically follows organisational learning, team learning and probably also diversity management.

Jim Lindsay (JM) – My name is Jim Lindsay, I’m the CEO of Ipswich city council. Ipswich city council is a large local government, right next to Brisbane in the South East corner of Queensland. It has a population of about two hundred thousand people currently, growing quite quickly to four hundred and fifty thousand people in the next 15-20 years. it has a staff of about 1200 employees and provides over 1000 products and services to our community.

PM – At the state government level I have been looking at organisational learning, networks, creating organisational learning cultures. At the specific local government level, I’ve been looking at how do you create a
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Ethnicity and diversity: Why we need top of the cliff solutions



By Leonie Hayden


The experiences of migrants and refugees are addressed in an annual summit hosted by AUT’s Immigration and Inclusion Research Group. This year a range of speakers will be tackling the workplace.

“We are in a woven universe, so how do we create a weave that doesn’t fray?”

This is the question at the core of creating robust immigration policy, according to AUT’s University Director of Diversity, Edwina Pio.
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The Rise of the Radicals – The Narrative of Terror Hides Behind its Ideologues – Catherine Shakdam




The 2016 BBC documentary on Deobandis in the UK exposed what many of us knew all along. That the Muslim communities in the United Kingdom are not a monolithic and that there are some schools of thoughts that dominate terrorist violence and intolerance, while other Muslims are held collectively responsible. Most disturbingly, the vast and significant network of Deobandi madrasas in the UK have hosted globally designated terrorist like Masood Azhar, head of JeM.

If we consider that the UK is but one of the many ‘assets’ Terror’s ideologues have cultivated … and one could safely say activated over the years, one needs to in fact ponder over the magnitude of the crisis we currently face.

For all our lengthy discourse on terrorism, and those tenets intellectuals, politicians, and heads of states have claimed gave life to radicalism, we have abysmally failed to Continue reading

How early career women help to open up the gender pay gap – Julie Davies and David Fahey


Snip20170912_11Perhaps Gary Lineker is worth more than Clare Balding? After all, the former footballer fronts the BBC’s coverage of the world’s most popular sport. Balding, on the other hand, presents the BBC countryside radio programme Ramblings and the BBC faith programme Good Morning Sunday, alongside other jobs for BBC Sport. In truth, though, the kerfuffle over the BBC gender pay gap is a distraction, and part of a wider trend towards public sector bashing.

Research suggests that the real issue behind gender pay gaps is that women too readily accept low pay offers. And the cost of not negotiating job offers is compounded significantly during a career. In her book, Women Don’t Ask, Linda Babcock reported Continue reading