Patrick Sookhdeo

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Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, Credit: SWNS.

Dr Patrick Sookhdeo is founder of the Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity and international director of the Barnabas Fund. In February 2015 he resigned from the latter's international charitable arm as a trustee and director following his conviction for sexual assault.

Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity's work with Special Branch

In 1989 Sookhdeo convened an international conference on "the plight of the Church in Muslim-majority countries".

During this conference, the appalling suffering of Christians in many such contexts was outlined, and as a result two new organisations were created. The first was a research and training institute called the International Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity (IISIC); its aim was to study contemporary Islamic movements and their impact on Christian minorities. The second was a charity called Barnabas Fund, which sought to alleviate the plight of Christians suffering discrimination and persecution under Islam, by providing aid and relief, raising awareness of their situation, engaging in advocacy on their behalf, and encouraging prayer.[1][2]

According to Sookhdeo's personal website:

In the early 1990s, it was the Institute IISIC that took priority, and its ground-breaking research soon revealed the Islamist terrorist organisations that were brutally attacking Christians in various Muslim contexts. A database recording details of thousands of radical Islamic organisations and groups was created. In the early 1990s the Institute produced a paper about Osama bin Laden and his influence. As a result of this research work, Robert Lambert from Special Branch of the British police force made contact with Patrick Sookhdeo, as Director of IISIC, and requested his assistance in locating and analysing these Islamist organisations and their ideological positions.[1]
After 9/11, Special Branch approached Dr Sookhdeo again to look at how the Islamist movements had developed since the early 1990s, their current expressions in the UK, and their objectives. This work with Robert Lambert later developed into the Muslim Contact Unit of Special Branch. It was during this period, as unpaid adviser to Special Branch, that Dr Sookhdeo wrote his book Understanding Islamic Terrorism, which was one of the first of its kind. [1]


Sookhdeo was born in what was then British Guyana in 1947. His father was a Hindu who converted to Islam in order to marry his mother. The family migrated to Britain in the early 1960s. By 1969, Sookhdeo had converted to Christianity and begun training for the Anglican priesthood.[3]

He holds a Ph.D. from the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies on the impact of Islam on society. He also holds doctorates from Western Seminary, Portland, Oregon and Nashotah House Episcopal Seminary, Wisconsin.

In 2007 Sookhdeo was:

a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Defence Academy of the UK, Adjunct Professor of the George C. Marshall European Centre for Security Studies, and Visiting Fellow at Cranfield University, UK. He is an adviser to the British armed forces on Iraq and Afghanistan. He is also the director of the Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity and of the Barnabas Fund.[4]

In June 1999, Sookhdeo visited Israel as part of a delegation sponsored by the Anglo Israel Association.[5]

Sexual assault conviction

In February 2015 Sookhdeo was convicted of one charge of sexual assault and two counts of intimidating a witness or juror.[6]

In July 2018, a jury found Sookhdeo not guilty not guilty of a separate indecent assault alleged to have taken place in 1977.[7]

New book

In November 2015 Sookhdeo published a new book entitled: 'Unmasking Islamic State'. [8]


Website; update Dec 2019: according to, the website was last online in March 2017.

External resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Patrick Sookhdeo, Biography, personal website, dated October 2011, (acc 24 June 2013; no longer online since March 2017, now accessed via
  2. Islam, the West and the need for honesty, by Tony Parkinson, The Age, 16 October 2004.
  3. Islam, the West and the need for honesty, by Tony Parkinson, The Age,16 October 2004.
  4. Biographies, CounterJihad Europa, accessed 21 December 2008.
  5. Coventry 'Cross of Nails' Presented To Ecumenical Theological Fraternity, Christians and Israel - Autumn 1999, Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, accessed 21 December 2008.
  6. Ben White, Former British army adviser & Islam 'expert' convicted of sexual assault, Middle East Monitor, 24 February 2015
  7. Barnabas Fund, Barnabas Fund founder Dr Patrick Sookhdeo in unanimous “not guilty” verdict: we reveal the facts, 7 August 2018 (accessed December 2019)
  8. Unmasking Islamic State, Westminster Institute, undated, accessed 15 December 2015