WEBINAR SERIES: Contemporary Issues in American Islam

Bayan and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at UC Berkeley are collaborating on several initiatives, including this monthly virtual lecture series. Scholars and practitioners representing different disciplines and professions offer their insights on a range of topics pertaining to Muslim life in contemporary American contexts.
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PAST EVENTS

Topic:

Islam and the Environment: Stewardship, Preservation and Protection

Speakers:

Dr. Sarra Tlili, Professor of Arabic Language and Literature, University of Florida - Gainesville

Dr. Anna M. Gade, Professor of Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin - Madison

Description:

Dr. Sarra Tlili's topic is "The Ecology of Wonder." She explores the ecological dimensions of three Qur’anic motifs: divine oaths, creation’s function as a set of signs, and creation’s inner dimension. Study of these motifs shows that through them the Qur’an fostered feelings of kinship and wonder toward nonhuman creation, thereby creating a favorable ecological impact.

Dr. Anna M. Gade's topic is "Understanding Muslim Environmentalisms as Environmental Ethics." She presents on current trends in global Environmental Ethics, and offers perspectives on how Muslims have engaged these commitments in the past and present, as well as what Islamic approaches are now contributing to notions like environmental justice.

Moderator:

Dr. Asad Ahmed, Director - Center for Middle Eastern Studies, UC Berkeley

Time:

Jan. 25, 2021 12:00 PM in Pacific Time (US And Canada)

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Topic:

Reason and Revelation: Theoretical Frameworks and Lived Realities

Speakers:

Dr. Asad Ahmed, Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies, UC Berkeley
Dr. Nahyan Fancy, Professor of History, DePauw University

Description:

Dr. Ahmed provides a historical and textually-grounded approach to the question of reason in Islam, and the rationalist disciplines that developed in Islamic theology and philosophy.

Dr. Fancy sheds light on how physicians undertook rational, scientific investigations that led to new understandings of pulse and generation, and how these intersected with discussions in philosophy and religious texts. Both scholars help us understand how classical Islamic philosophical thought and scientific investigation were part of a holistic approach to knowledge production, and they provide evidence for influences and sharing across disciplines. Many claims of earlier Western academics are challenged, especially considering that many unstudied manuscripts suggest a more complex picture.

Moderator:

Dr. Asifa Quraishi-Landes, Professor of Law, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Board Chair of Bayan

Time:

Dec. 7, 2020 12:00 PM in Pacific Time (US And Canada)

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Topic:

Democracy, Muslim Civic Engagement, And Shari'a

Speakers:

Dr. Asifa Quraishi-Landes, Professor Of Law, University Of Wisconsin-Madison Majida Abdul-Karim, Education Consultant, Board Member - Georgia Muslim Voter Project

Description:

Dr. Quraishi-Landes Will Provide A Scholarly Lens To Understanding: What Is A Muslim’s Obligation When It Comes To State Law In The US? Are Muslims Supposed To Vote For Laws That Reflect The Rules Of Islam? If Not, Why Not? And If So, Does That Mean That Sharia Is A Threat To The American Rule Of Law? How Should Muslim Americans Navigate This Landscape, And How Should Non-Muslim Americans Feel About Muslim Voters And Elected Officials?

Ms. Abdul-Karim Will Shed Light On The Experience And Impact Of The Georgia Muslim Voter Project, Particularly In The Area Of Youth Engagement And Emphasizing Political Accountability, Civic Participation Vs. Civic Engagement. This Session Will Address These Questions, And More, On The Eve Of Perhaps The Most Awaited US National Elections Of Our Time.

Moderator:

Jihad Turk, President Of Bayan

Time:

Nov 2, 2020 12:00 PM In Pacific Time (US And Canada)

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