Fifty Shades of Guile: Wahhabism and the death of Islamic Pluralism


Dr Valentine 2

Dr Simon Ross Valentine

TIME: 18:00-19:00, Wednesday 28th October 2015

VENUE: Committee Room 16, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA

 To attend please RSVP to:   


Wahhabism, a strict Arabian Islamic reform movement, has grown massively since the 1970s as a result of huge funding from Saudi Arabia. In order to find out what exactly Wahhabism is, Dr Simon Ross Valentine lived in the Kingdom for three years, familiarising himself with its distinct interpretation of Islam. Drawing on interviews with Saudis from all walks of life, including members of the feared mutawa, the religious police, Dr Simon Ross Valentine’s new book appraises of one of the most significant movements in contemporary Islam.

By kind invitation of Sir David Amess, The Henry Jackson Society is pleased to invite you to an event with Dr Simon Ross Valentine, who with first-hand knowledge of Wahhabism, will discuss Wahhabism and the death of Islamic Pluralism.

Please RSVP to Please note RSVPs must include your full name and any affiliations including for any guests you wish to bring. We will send a confirmation which will be required to attend the event.


Dr Simon Ross Valentine, works as a freelance religious consultant specializing in Islamic Studies, particularly Muslim minority groups and political Islam. His qualifications include degrees in Law and Religious Studies; a Master’s degrees in Islamic Studies and another in the Sociology of religion, and a Doctorate in religious history in the eighteenth century. As well as “cutting his teeth” as a classroom teacher, including eleven successful years as Head of Religious Studies at Bradford Grammar School, he has lectured part time at the Universities of Leeds and Bradford, lecturing in comparative religions, the Sociology of Religion and Modern Church History.

Dr Valentine is currently a researcher linked with the Institute of Islamic & Strategic Affairs [IISA] and the Pakistan Security & Research Unit [PSRU], University of Durham writing papers on militant Islam in the Asian sub-continent. His field work, carried out in India, Pakistan and Kashmir, culminated in the publication of “Islam and the Ahmadiyya Jama’at: History, Belief and Practice”, published by Hurst & Co, London-New York, in 2008. More recently, having taught for three years at Universities in Riyadh, Dammam and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia (2011-2014), he wrote “Force & Fanaticism: Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia and Beyond, also published by Hurst in July this year.

His extensive publications include a report on minority groups in Pakistan for the UNCHR, co-authored with Professor Shaun Gregory; the Muslim community in Bradford for COMPAS, the Islamic Research Centre in Oxford; entries in various encyclopeadias and dictionaries, and book reviews and articles in different newspapers and journals. His current research interests, which are varied, include militant Islamic groups in the UK and the factors leading to radicalisation. He is near completion on a book discussing the Ideology behind Da’esh [ISIS].


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