October 30, 2015. In Pakistan, myriad constituencies are grappling with reinterpreting women's rights. This book analyzes the Government of Pakistan's construction of an understanding of what constitutes women's rights, moves on to address traditional views and contemporary popular opinion on women's rights, and then focuses on three very different groups' perceptions of women's rights: progressive women's organizations as represented by the Aurat Foundation and Shirkat Gah; orthodox Islamist views as represented by the Jama'at-i-Islami, the MMA government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (2002-08) and al-Huda; and the Swat Taliban. Author Anita M. Weiss analyzes the resultant "culture wars" that are visibly ripping the country apart, as groups talk past one another - each confidant that they are the proprietors of culture and interpreters of religion while others are misrepresenting it.
Benny Morris is known
as one of Israel’s “New Historians” and is one of the world’s leading experts
on the origins and development of the Arab-Israeli conflict. During the
2015-2016 academic year he is the Aaron and Cecile Goldman Visiting Israeli
Professor in the Department of Government.
The lecture was held on October 27, 2015 on the Georgetown University campus.
October 14, 2015. In his presentation, Dr. Kaya began with a short introduction to the life of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi (1876-1960) and the historical context in which he lived and wrote his magnum opus the Risale-i Nur, a thematic commentary on the Qur’an. This was followed by presenting Nursi’s perspective on living in a secular environment as an observant Muslim, his understanding of jihad, political Islam, and Christian-Muslim relations. Finally, Dr. Kaya focused on the legacy of Nursi in Turkey and around the globe.
October 1, 2015. Austria was the first Western European country to legally recognize Islam in 1912 and was for a long time known for its tolerant policies towards the Muslim community. After 9/11, the far right has discovered the topic of Islamophobia and used it strategically in election campaigns. When the 1912 Islam-law was renewed in 2015, the dominant Islamophobic discourse had made its imprint on public debates about the 2015 Islam-law. In this talk, Farid Hafez gave an overview over the most contested issues throughout the debate, the various stances of the parties in power and in opposition as well as the many possible implications of the law for the future of the Austrian Muslim community.
September 25, 2015—Panel event: "Christians in the Holy Land" with Jonthan Kuttab & Naim Ateek. In the endless stream of coverage on the Israel/Palestine conflict, Palestinian Christians receive scant attention. This is surprising in light of the overall concern for Christians in the Middle East in American society and politics. This panel featured prominent Palestinian Christian leaders who discussed the condition of those descendants of the original followers of Christ who remain in the holy land.
Bruce Hoffman, Professor and Director of the Center for Security Studies, presented on his latest book Anonymous Soldiers: The Struggle for Israel, 1917-1947 (Knopf, 2015). The lecture was held October 8, 2015 in McShain Lounge, McCarthy Hall at Georgetown University.
Ambassador Dennis Ross, Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy, presented on his new book Doomed to Succeed: The U.S.-Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama (Farrar, Staus, and Giroux, October 2015). Former Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and James A. Baker, III describe Ambassador Ross's new book as a "must read".
This lecture took place on October 5, 2015 in Gaston Hall on the Georgetown University main campus.
September 28, 2015. In the light of the present barbaric violence and drastically destructive war that devastates Syria and Iraq by the Syrian regime, on one side, and all kinds of Islamist jihadi phalanges, on another, many local Middle Easterners and Western decision-takers and opinion-makers call for protecting the minorities in the region and encourage them to form a united front of ‘alliance of minorities’ to defend themselves and grant their survival in the region. In this presentation, Dr. Awad attempted to pause at the use of the term ‘minority’ and scrutinized its factual meaning in the light of the real context that originated the revolution in Syria. He demonstrates that in the Syrian sitz im leben, the notion of ‘minority’ is definitely neither numerical nor confessionalist in nature. It is the outcome of a minoritization policy that was exerted on Syria by the ruling regime. In the light of perceiving the ‘policy of minoritization’, which Dr. Awad sheds light on, he ends the presentation with an assessment of the ‘alliance of minorities’ trend that stems out of the above mentioned call for protecting the minorities, calling the Christians and other minorities in the region to avoid this trend and beware of its dire danger.
In 1914, after the Ottoman Empire joined the axis powers, German leaders convinced Ottoman rulers to declare a “Holy War” that sought to incite colonial subjects in European territories to rebel against their colonial rulers. The holy war call went out in the first weeks of November 1914 and targeted over 130 million Muslim subjects living under French, British and Russian imperial rule. These colonial territories stretched from South Asia to North Africa, including Egypt, Persia, and the Muslim populations of the Russian Empire. Although the United States was still officially neutral in the war, some Americans worried that this call for a unified Muslim rebellion would incite Muslim subjects in their own colonial territories in the Philippines to rebel against American rule. Having just recently succeeded in ending its protracted war against Filipino Muslim insurgents the previous year, Americans both in the Philippines and in the United States were particularly sensitive to any threats to this precarious and newly-won peace. This talk examined these reactions but also analyzes how these concerns drew American imperial rulers into larger global discussions about Islam, empire, self-determination, global security, pan-Islamism, and Orientalist narratives of difference. This talk concluded by analyzing how such historical fears came back to resonate once again as Americans feared that Filipino Muslims were contributing to international terrorism in the period after 9/11. It also analyzed the links between earlier and later global discussions of imperial rule over Muslims, surveillance, and the global “threat” of pan-Islamism.
March 19, 2015. Dr. Weller's talk focused on four main, interrelated dimensions of the impact of the Crimean and Ukrainian Crises on the Central Eurasian Islamic World: (1) The response of the Crimean Tatar community and impact on Russo-Tatar relations within the Crimea religiously, socially, and politically; (2) Responses among related Turkic Muslim groups of Central Eurasia, particularly the Turks of Turkey, the Volga Tatars within the Russian Federation, and the Kazakh Muslims of Kazakhstan, with related reflections upon the impact of the crises upon Russo-Turkish relations politically, Russo-Volga Tatar relations socially and politically within Tatarstan, and Russo-Kazakh relations socially and politically within Kazakhstan; (3) the (potential) impact upon Russo-Chinese relations politically in connection with the Uighur independence movement; and (4) Responses from across the broader Muslim world, particularly the Middle Eastern and Western worlds. The presentation argued that the Crimean and Ukrainian crises have provoked and, if maintained, will continue to provoke a predominantly negative reaction against not only Russia and Russian expatriates living in Central Eurasian states which are significantly populated by Muslims, but will serve to reinforce Muslim views of ‘The (Christian) West’ as imperialist and exploitative world powers, in spite of condemnation of the action by a large number of Western powers internationally, since Western condemnation is concerned primarily with safeguarding Ukraine as a pro-Westernizing force (and not the Crimean Tatar cause). This study drew primarily from scholarly works on historical and historiographical issues pertaining to Ukraine and the Crimea as well as published newspaper, magazine, and journal articles in Turkish, Tatar, Kazakh, and English which have appeared in response/relation to the issue.