Professor Raihan Ismail

H.H. Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani Professor in Contemporary Islamic Studies

+44 (0) 4401 865 612399

Raihan Ismail is the His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies.

Raihan’s research interests include Political Islam, sectarianism, and the intertwining nature of religion and politics in the Middle East.

Before moving to Oxford, Raihan was based at the Australian National University, teaching courses on Islam, the Modern Middle East, Sunni-Shia relations, Gender and Culture in the Middle East, and Muslim Politics. She was the co-recipient of the 2018 Max Crawford Medal, awarded by the Australian Academy of the Humanities for ‘outstanding achievement in the humanities by an early-career scholar’. She also delivered the 8th Hancock Lecture for the Academy, titled “Hybrid Civilisation or the Clash of Civilisations: Rethinking the Muslim Other.”

From 2019 to 2022, Raihan was an Australian Research Council Fellow (DECRA). She was the Goldman Faculty Leave Fellow at Brandeis University for the 2022-2023 academic year. 

Raihan has been the co-convenor (2015-2018) and convenor (2019-2020) of the Political Islam seminar series for various Australian Commonwealth government agencies. She has also delivered consultancies for the Australian Attorney General’s Department and Departments of Defence and Foreign Affairs.

She is a regular commentator in international media on Islam and Middle East politics. She shares her research expertise on various media outlets, and has given numerous interviews including on Voice of America, BBC World, BBC Arabic, ABC TV and ABC Radio National. She has appeared as a panellist on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Q&A program. In 2019, she was placed in the ABC’s Top 5 Media Residency Program for humanities scholars in Australia. 

She has written in academic and non-academic outlets including the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage publication. She is the author of Saudi Clerics and Shia Islam (Oxford University Press, 2016) and Rethinking Salafism: The Transnational Networks of Salafi ‘Ulama in Egypt, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia (Oxford University Press, 2021).

She has a Bachelors Degree in Political Science, with a minor in Islamic Studies, and a Masters in International Relations from the International Islamic University of Malaysia, and a PhD from the ANU.