Develop an awareness of the diverse and complex
Over the past year, dramatic transformations swept across the Muslim world. Throughout the Middle East people took to the streets, upsetting decades of political oppression. In so doing, they also raised new questions and issues about how we in the United States come to understand Arabs, Muslims and Islam in general. In the streets and urban squares, Arabs asserted new ways of being citizens of the world and connecting to global processes, particularly through social media. The people also asserted new ways of being Muslim, reconnecting with Islamic ideas of humanness and social justice that challenge both extremist ideologies within Islam as well as suggest a new reorientation to create just and equitable communities. This is a turning point in contemporary history of the Muslim world.
Our goal in this three-lecture series is to develop awareness of the diverse and complex picture of the Muslim world and bring to the discussion a perception of Islam that can relate to the modern world and meet the challenges of the future through a process of accommodation and dialogue within the diverse Muslim communities as well as the non-Muslim world.
The Muslim World: An Introduction
Thursday, Feb. 23
The first session will provide a basic introduction to the theological principles of Islam and different approaches to understanding the Muslim world. We will discuss ideas of "Orientalism" and look at a variety of theoretical perspectives — such as the "clash of civilizations" thesis — and how they limit our understanding of Islam and Muslims. Once we become aware that easy divisions and demarcations do not work but rather create confusion, we will be able to analyze and synthesize the dynamic connections between the Muslim and non-Muslim world and the need to nurture these connections further.
Global Connectivity: Being Muslim, Being Global
Thursday, March 1
During the second session, we will examine critical developments that are reshaping the Muslim world today. We will answer questions like: What are the lasting impacts of the Arab Spring? How has the U.S.'s war on terror reshaped the Muslim world? What sort of globalized alternatives are Muslims creating? We will also discuss the role of Muslim women in giving voice to creating new futures, focusing on the dialogues, debates and discussions that are ongoing in the different Muslim communities about the shape of the future of the Muslim world and the different perspectives and strategies informed by local conditions.
Human Dignity: Conceptualizing Muslim Humanness
Thursday, March 8
In the final session, focus will shift to theological and spiritual ideas emerging from within Islam that offer new insights into the religion from a human-centered perspective and provide new directions to understand global issues such as human rights and democracy. Here, our emphasis will be to draw attention to the rights of man that are fundamental in Islam and the need for application of these rights to develop a just and equitable Muslim world that can live in harmony with its neighbors and friends of the non-Muslim world.
Prior to moving to ASU, Chad Haines was an assistant professor of cultural anthropology at American University in Cairo and a Fulbright Research Fellow in Pakistan in 2009. He is the author of the forthcoming book Nation, Territory and Globalization in Pakistan: A View from the Margins. Currently he is writing a new book manuscript, tentatively titled Being Muslim, Being Global: Dubai, Islamabad and Cairo, that critically analyzes the multiple ways globalization is reshaping the Muslim world and forging new ways for people to assert their identities as both Muslim and modern/global.
Originally from India, Yasmin Saikia had her early education at Aligarh Muslim University in India and completed her graduate and doctoral work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is the author of three books and numerous articles and book chapters. Her most recent book, Women, War and the Making of Bangladesh: Remembering 1971, examines the untold stories of gender violence and the history of the dismemberment of Pakistan in war and violence. Presently, she is writing her fourth book, tentatively titled Imagining Future's Past: Muslim Memories and Anti-colonialism (1920-1940), and is also undertaking a 10-year longitudinal research project, Learning Peace and Violence: A Children's History of India, Pakistan and Palestine.
Saikia is the recipient of several grants and fellowships, and her second book, "Fragmented Memories: Struggling to be Tai-Ahom in Assam," won the best book prize from the Nehru Memorial Library and Museum in New Delhi, India in 2005.
Assistant research professor
ASU Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict
Hardt-Nickachos Chair in Peace Studies
Professor of history
ASU Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict
Both presenters — School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Thursdays, Feb. 23–March 8
10–10:55 a.m. Lecture
10:55–11:05 a.m. Refreshments
Northern Trust – Gainey Ranch
7600 E. Doubletree Ranch Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85258
Free parking provided