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Islam and Muslims in an age of ISIS and Islamophobia
Fifteen years after the horrific attacks of 9/11, the American Muslim community and the American democratic experiment both find themselves in a perilous state. No American community is viewed with more hostility and negativity. On one hand the community has had to perpetually defend itself against association with the vile attacks of groups like ISIS. On the other hand, leading presidential candidates have talked about surveillance on the Muslim community, allegations of Muslims’ disloyalty to America, turning away Muslim refugees, and shutting down mosques. Where do we go from here? How do we rebuild the bonds of the “Beloved community” that is the great hope of the American democratic experiment in this age of fear and fear-mongering?
Date and Time: Saturday, October 29, 2016, 3:30-5 pm
Location: Young Court of Sciences 50, UCLA
Omid Safi is a leading Muslim public intellectual. He is the Director of the Duke Islamic Studies Center, a leading institutions for research on Islam and promoting publicly accessible scholarship on Islam and Muslim communities worldwide ((http://islamicstudies.duke.edu/). Omid is a professor of Islamic Studies, and specializes in contemporary Islamic thought and Islamic spirituality. He is the Chair for the Islamic Mysticism group at the American Academy of Religion, the largest international organization devoted to the academic study of religion. Omid is an award-winning teacher and speaker, and has been nominated ten times for professor of the year awards at Duke University, University of North Carolina, and Colgate University.
He is the editor of the volume Progressive Muslims: On Justice, Gender, and Pluralism. In this ground-breaking volume, he inaugurated a new understanding of Islam which is rooted in social justice, gender equality, and religious/ethnic pluralism. His work Politics of Knowledge in Premodern Islam, dealing with medieval Islamic history and politics, was published in 2006. His Memories of Muhammad is an award-winning biography of the Prophet Muhammad. The Carnegie Foundation recognized Omid as a leading Scholar of Islam in 2007-2008.
Omid has been among the most frequently sought speakers on Islam in popular media, appearing frequently in the New York Times, Newsweek, Washington Post, PBS, NPR, NBC, BBC, CNN, and international media. He regularly blogs at On Being (http://www.onbeing.org/).
The lecture is being sponsored by the UCLA Islamic Studies-MRI Fund and co-sponsored by Center for Near Eastern Studies and Center for the Stud of Religion.