Seminar: Overcoming the Traditionalist-Modernist Tussle in Muslim Societies: Challenges in Embattled Pakistan

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This is a listing of older East-West Center events (newer listed first).  See Events to get the list of current or upcoming events.

Research Program Brown Bag Seminar

When: Nov 19 2008 (All day)
Where: John A. Burns Hall, Room 3012
What:

Overcoming the Traditionalist-Modernist Tussle in Muslim Societies:

Challenges in Embattled Pakistan

Saleem Ahmed

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

12 noon to 1:00 pm

John A Burns Hall, Room 3012


A major problem confronting Muslim societies is the tension between "theocratic traditionalists" following Muslim sacred texts and "democratic modernists" following secular "western" values. However, Ahmed argues the problem is more the inability of modernists to show their thoughts are based on other – and often ignored – Qur'anic teachings, swept away in the wave of extremist belligerency. Thus, while extremists successfully cite the Qur'anic injunction "Do not trust Jews and Christians," the other injunction "You can eat with and intermarry with People of the Book (Jews and Christians)" is often ignored. The Qur'an is usually looked upon as a snapshot instead of as a document revealed over a 23 year period, with later guidance superseding earlier guidance, based on the evolving socio-political developments during Muhammad's prophethood.


Based on thoughts in his forthcoming book (Islam: A Religion of Peace?), Ahmed will discuss the largely ignored historical context in which Muhammad received guidance, underscore the challenge Muslims confront as the Qur'an is not compiled chronologically, and focus on the unfolding situation in Pakistan between extremists and the government, caught in a strangle-hold to establish control in the troubled north-west tribal areas.

A natural scientist by training and a former Fellow at the East-West Center, Ahmed started researching Muslim sacred texts and their impact on Muslim societies from around 1980. His earlier book on Islam, Beyond Veil and Holy War, was released in 2002.

Primary Contact Info:
Name: Lillian Shimoda
Phone: 944-7557