Islam and Media Working Group - elections 2024

The Islam and Media Working Group (ISM) will be holding online elections for one chair and two vice-chair positions, for the term 2024 - 2028. 

The elections will be held online from 23 April to 14 May using the SurveyMonkey platform. Individual members and representatives of institutional members in good standing, who are also registered as members of the Islam and Media Working Group will be eligible to stand for a position and to vote. Voters will receive a voting link on 23 April.

To verify if you are a member of the ISM Working Group, log in to your IAMCR account and select “My Sections and Working Groups” from the menu.

See the candidates and read their statements below.

Read about the Islam and Media Working Group

More information and timeline at


For Chair:

For Vice chair:


Fatma Elzahraa Elsayed

Fatma Elzahraa Elsayed (Cairo University, Egypt)

Professor of Journalism, CLC at AASTMT & FMC at Cairo University

I have the pleasure to nominate myself for the position of Chairman of the Islam and Media W/G and I am passionate and interested in undertaking the responsibilities that this position entails.

I was honored to work as Vice Chair of ISM W/G for the past four years, and I was pleased to work with two of the most amazing colleagues, Professor Bushra Hameedur Rahman, and Professor Abida Ashraf. Together we accomplished many achievements and cooperated to manage the group’s affairs in a spirit of sincerity and integration. We have organized several webinars and I contributed with them to the AMCAP Doctoral School in Rawalpindi in association with IAMCR sources. My favorite achievement is establishing a reward for the best papers submitted to the ISM/WG and I had the honor to finance this reward for three consecutive years. I am determined to provide continuity to this award and to look for sustainable financing resources. Also, I initiated a special logo and designed appreciation certificates for ISM/WG that emphasizes its identity and connection with IAMCR.

Despite the goals I have achieved for the ISM over the past years, there are still other goals that I aspire to achieve to further enrich and organize the group’s activities and solidarity. There must be an interactive platform through which we can moderate discussions, put forward initiatives, and coordinate activities. We also need a team of 3-4 young scholars who can follow up on activities and renew the spirit of interactions, and I believe that I can form this team using my international relationships and manage it as head of ISM/WG. Preserving spirit of interaction and solidarity among group members can produce many successful projects, for example but not limited to: Participating in issuing a book that deals with the current political and social changes in the world and their impact on Islamic issues. I already have a vision of the main trajectories that this book could include considering the war in Gaza, which appears to have transformative effects on media narratives towards the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

I also have plans that I seek to achieve to strengthen cooperation between ISM and other IAMCR sections and WGs, to develop constructive visions about common interests, and to maximize the use of audiovisual communication platforms in holding meetings and discussing the potentials and opportunities available for cooperation. Being a current IAMCR ambassador in Egypt will have a great impact in supporting ISM’s activities from more than one dimension, as it will increase IAMCR membership and encourage members to join the activities of other sections and W/Gs, and ISM will certainly have a considerable share of this membership. One of the most important goals that I will work to achieve is to facilitate alternative leaders who can carry out responsibility for managing ISM in the future and who, through their accumulative experience, can accomplish higher levels of creativity in achieving the ISM’s goals.

Abida Ashraf (University of the Punjab, Pakistan)abida_ashraf

I am Abida Ashraf (PhD), Professor, Human Rights Chair, & Chairperson of the Department of Public Relations and Advertising at University of the Punjab, Pakistan. I am contesting for the Vice Chair of Islam and Media Working Group. 
Let me introduce myself. My PhD is in Religion and Documentary Films and I have publications on Islam and media which make me a natural supporter of the ISM-WG. My association with IAMCR is more than 14 years and I am currently serving as Vice Chair of Islam and Media WG. By the end of my first term, I found myself more enthusiastic and passionate about promoting and strengthening ISM-WG, and I would like to serve again with new zeal and zest if elected. 

Let me share a glimpse of Islam and Media Working Group; we, the three team members, Professor Bushra H. Rahman (Chair) Dr. Fatma Alzahara, and I (Co-Vice Chairs) worked together for four years to enrich scholarship in Islam and Media Working Group by extending its membership, promoting connections and network across regions, offering incentives for quality research, and sustaining successfully during trying times of COVID-19. If elected for the upcoming term, we plan to organize a regional conference for the Islam and Media Working Group along with other academic collaborations. 

In Pakistan, I am the Co-Founder of AMCAP, Pakistan’s first Association of Media and Communication Academic Professionals (AMCAP), which is the first country-wide platform for media academics and professionals. My commitment to the field is evidenced through impactful initiatives. Serving as the co-founder of AMCAP, I have successfully implemented a vision centered on inclusivity, integration, and the fortification of media academics. Notable contributions include establishing the ECREA-style Doctoral Spring School, initiating research journals, and organizing international conferences as Vice President of AMCAP. As a vocal Human Rights activist, I passionately conduct webinars, seminars, special plenaries, and talks on crucial global issues, such as those affecting Kashmir and Palestine.

I am an advocate for engaging scholars with diverse perspectives in various ventures, firmly believing that the beauty of diversity lies at the core of academic strength. With a vision that integration must transcend borders for the greater interest of humanity, I actively promote collaborations at different levels. My interests and contributions naturally align with the goals of Islam and Media Working Group, and I am confident in my ability to efficiently promote and contribute to WG- Islam and Media.

Saima Shahid.jpg

Saima E. Shahid (University of Punjab, Pakistan)

PhD, Independent Researcher

A published poet with a book on credit, magazine journalist, and columnist, I am pursuing work and study in tandem for last 25 years. Most of my career has been dedicated to volunteer work for women, children and youth with multiple NGOs and NPOs, reflections of which inspire my research endeavors. After teaching as visiting faculty for a brief period, I find myself more at freedom with taking up research projects of my preference. My focus is Muslim women’s empowerment under framework of Islamic thought, benefiting from relevant feminist scholarship which enables Muslim women to disentangle themselves from patriarchal underpinnings of their respective cultures. Having presented twice at UNCSW annual sessions, and attended the Beijing+20 NYC conference in person as country delegate, I find myself more inclined towards working on indigenous solutions to the problems faced by Muslim women world over.    

My PhD thesis was an in-depth study of the cultural relevance of television commercials which revealed some intriguing aspects of the advertising campaigns of global companies in a Muslim society. A part of this research presented at IAMCR, was an award-winning piece under ISM. During my PhD study, I attended Centre for Culture and Media Policy Studies (CMPS), University of Warwick, UK, which gave me an understanding of the latest issues and trends in communication research and media markets.

Having worked with a number of faith based organizations, I am uniquely placed to develop a critical insight into the ideology and working of mainstream female religious outfits working in Pakistan. I recorded few aspects of these ethnographic readings as part of my MPhil dissertation.

Currently I am actively working on two projects; First one, by National Research Program for Universities HEC Pakistan, is a critical investigation of indigenous feminist movement, which I am working with as Academic Consultant, and co-authored a paper for IAMCR. The second one also presented at IAMCR as a concept paper, is under a NPO; It explores the role of Masjid and Imam in achieving gender equality and empowerment of rural women and girls. I find these indigenous structures of Pakistani society having tremendous potential as enablers for uplift of women’s status, promising sustainable outcomes. For both projects I engage with cross sections of society which include academia, thought leaders, eminent writers and content creators, and public office holders, and closely interacting with religious scholars, and rural development initiatives. 

As members of IAMCR, we all aspire to ‘change the world’ by engaging in policy debate and practices on all levels. I believe Islam and Media Working Group provides an excellent opportunity to look for what Islam has to offer both in intellectual and practical terms, to provide new angles to the contemporary global media research. Also, it is a forum to search for and research the real face of Islam by problematizing its myriad representations on media. Given my research trajectory and aspirations which align seamlessly with the goals and objectives of ISM, I see a position of responsibility as mutually beneficial.