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Fatima Cates: The forgotten woman who helped found British Islam

June 4, 2023 @ 12:15 pm 1:15 pm

A look at the extraordinary life and of one of Britain’s earliest Muslim converts.

Fatima Elizabeth Cates (1865-1900) was a founding figure and leader of Britain’s first mosque community. One of the earliest women to convert to Islam in England, Fatima showed immense courage in overcoming opposition and abuse from society and her own family to call people to the faith.

Drawing from Our Fatima of Liverpool, the first biography charting her remarkable life, this conversation between Kristiane Backer and Hamid Mahmood explores the pivotal role Fatima played in establishing British Islam, and what a little-known religion offered working-class women in Victorian Liverpool.



Hamid Mahmood is the founder of Fatima Elizabeth Phrontistery, an Islamic supplementary school in London. He is a teacher by profession with an interest in history of Islam and the West. He is the co-author of Our Fatima of Liverpool.

Kristiane Backer is a TV presenter, journalist, speaker and author. As a former TV presenter on MTV Europe she interviewed many high profile guests including major artists, musicians and Hollywood stars. Her inspirational book From MTV to Mecca detailing her conversion to Islam has been translated into multiple languages.

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