Idrisa Pandit

Associate Professor, Studies in Islam

idrisa pandit

Academic Background:

Mortenson post-doctoral Fellow, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Ph.D. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Associateship In Information Science, INSDOC, New Delhi

M.A. University of Kashmir

B.A. University of Kashmir

Courses taught:

SI 121R Islam in the World

SI 315R Islam, Women, and the Modern World

SI 390R Understanding Islam   

Research interests:

My research interests are interdisciplinary. In my doctoral studies I investigated informal communication patterns of humanities scholars and in my postdoctoral studies I focused on information policies in developing countries. My current research interests include: inter-religious dialogue, Islam and Muslims in the West, women in Islam, Kashmir conflict, faith based approaches to ending domestic violence and cultural and spiritually sensitive counselling

My teaching philosophy:

As a teacher, I see my role to help students go through a process of learning and unlearning about the world of Islam and Muslims. My goal is to provide a safe, equitable, and accountable space in my classroom where students engage with the course material, their peers, and the teacher. I encourage my students to be critical thinkers and readers, challenge their views and encourage them to challenge my own. Students are encouraged to frame their arguments and opinions based on facts. I do not teach students what to think or believe about any issue, rather to provide multiple perspectives through background information and exposure to various ideas allowing them to form their own ideas and reach informed conclusions. I see teaching as a process of growing together with my students and building an awareness of issues that matter in the world and find ways of creating change and peace in the world.

My community involvement:

I have been long involved in issues of peace building and social justice internationally. I am also active in the local community in Kitchener Waterloo. In my work in interfaith relations and social service, I see myself as a bridge builder. I serve on the Boards of several local organizations and often give lectures in the community on topics related to Islam and Muslims as well as newcomer belonging. I am also the founder of the first ever spiritually and culturally sensitive local social service agency, Muslim Social Services of KW.

Academic Honours:

2016: Finalist for the Best teacher award. Renison University College  

1992 Mortenson Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign 

1991 University of Illinois Graduate College Dissertation Research Grant for excellence in research

1990 Reece Research Fund Award, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign 

1990-1991 University of Illinois Verdall Frazier Young Research Award for Women Graduates

1991 DIALOG Information Services Scholarship

1991 A. M. Hostetter Research Fellowship, University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign

1989-1992 University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign, Graduate Studies Fellowship

1984-1986 UNESCO Merit scholarship for pre-doctoral Associateship in Information by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi, India

1982-1983 National Merit Scholarship for Master’s in English literature

1978-1981 Merit Scholarship for Bachelor of Arts

Community Honours:

2017, Recipient of the University of Waterloo's President's community impact award.

2017, Leading Women, Leading Girls community Building award, Ontario Ministry for Status of Women.

2017, Volunteer Excellence Award, Muslim Social Services of Kitchener Waterloo

2015, Woman of the Year Award for community service, Kitchener Waterloo Oktoberfest

2010 Innovative Involvement Award, Finalist, Volunteer Impact Awards, Volunteer Action Centre, Kitchener

2007 Top twenty “Muslim Women who Inspire,” Canadian Council of Muslim Women                          

Select recent publications

  • "Faith, feminism and the other: Rethinking Christian and Muslim women's engagement," Consensus, Vol 39 (1), May 2018, Artcile 2.
  • “Compassion in Islam-Kindness in action,” in Practices of compassion, Bryant D. (Ed.), Pandora Press, 2017.
  • “Foreword,” Essays on Palestine, Fantina, R (author)., Red Pill Press, 2017.
  • “Youth resistance and the Kashmir conflict: A story of the children of war,” in Political Muslims: Understanding youth resistance in the global context, Hamed.S and Abbas T. (eds.) Syracuse University Press, 2018.
  • Faith & Settlement Partnerships: Setting Immigrants and Canada Up for Success: A study of Muslim Social Service KW, Centre for Community Based Research, 2017.

  • “The representation of Muslim women in the Trump era,” The Ecumenist, Vol.54, No.1, Winter 2017.

  • The human toll of Kashmir conflict: Grief and courage in a South Asian Borderland, Book review, Palgrave, 2016.

  • Bryant. D, Chodos, B, Pandit, I, (Eds.) Interfaith Grand River: Our story, Pandora Press,Waterloo, June, 2014.
  • Pandit, I. “Interfaith Grand River: Engagement beyond the table,” in Interfaith Grand River: Our sotry, Bryant, D, Chodos, R and Pandit, I, Pandora Press, Waterloo, 2014
  • Pandit, I.” My Jihad: Joys and struggles of a Muslim woman in North America”, Ways of the spirit: Celebrating Dialogue, Diversity and Spirituality, Bryant, D. Ed. , Pandora Press, Kitchener, 2013
  • Pandit, I., “Kashmiri issue of self-determination: A political and human tragedy,” Proceedings of the South Asia Conference, York University, April 5, 2013.

  • Across the Sabramati, Book review of memoir by Sriram Ananth 2013, Broken Shackles Press, 2013

  • Pandit, I.,“Kashmir’s untold story,”Inroads: The Canadian Journal of Opinion, Iss. No. 30, Winter/Spring 2012, pp.116-127.
  • Pandit, I., “Conflict resolution in Muslim communities: Revisiting the role of Imams and management boards,” Muslim Perspective on peace building, Proceedings, Center for Global Peacebuilding, Claremont Lincoln University, Oct. 12-13, 2012.
  • Pandit, I. “Youth resistance and the Kashmir Conflict: A story of the children of war,” Forthcoming book chapter in Global Muslim youth volume, Hamid, S & Abbas T. (Eds.) Syracuse University Press.

Select recent presentations:


  • "Kashmiri women in resistance: Indian occupation and silenced histories," Invited lecture sponsored by the Centre for race and gender, Boalt Hall Committee for human rights, International human rights law centre and the Miller Institute for Global challenges and the law, Nov. 8th, Berkeley law, Berkeley, California.
  • "Interfaith Dialogue as a precursor to societal change," Society for Scientific Study of religion, Washington DC, Oct.13-15, 2017.​
  • “Looking forward: Migration &mobility in 2017 and beyond,” 19th Metropolis conference, Montreal, March 16-18.
  • “Feminism, Islam and Muslim women?” Invited lecture, PROBUS, Waterloo, May 2nd. 2017.

  • “Immigration and refugees: Faith and settlement,” Our Whole Society conference, May 8-9, 2017, Saint Paul University, Ottawa.

  • “Faith based social services and settlement agencies: A study of MSSKW,” Canadian Society for the Study of Religion, Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences 2017, York University, Toronto, May 27-June 2nd.


  • “We can’t all be right, or can we? Public square and public theology,” Wilfrid Laurier Seminary, Guest lecture, WLU, Oct. 27, 2016
  • “Race and racism in Canadian universities”, invited presentation, eRacer  Race and Racism summit 2016, March 21, organized by Wilfrid Laurier Diversity and equity office.

  • “And the letter remains unopened: Dissent in Kashmir’s conflict zone,” Invited presentation at the Dissent in contemporary India conference, Munk School, University of Toronto, March 11, 2016

  • Invited Speaker, “Religion and Global citizenship conference: Can faith be a force for peace? “ Wilfrid Laurier University, March 11-12, 2016.