Islam and Modernity

 

ICMES and the Tres Culturas Fundación (Three Cultures of the Mediterranean Foundation), with the collaboration of the Association Essaouira Mogador, convened on September 14, 2017 at the headquarters of the Association Essaouira Mogador in Essaouira, Morocco, to analyze the relationship between Islam and modernity. The colloquium was composed of two sessions, each of which was comprised of a presenter and a respondent and followed by a corresponding round of debate. Among the issues discussed were the question of Islamic revival; the status and place of women in Islam; the challenges presented by a dual legal system; and the relationship between Islam and secular societies in the 21st century. Presenters included Dr. Norton Mezvinsky, President of ICMES; Issam Saliba, expert on Islamic law at the U.S. Library of Congress (also of ICMES); Dr. Gloria Morán, Distinguished Professor of Comparative Law, Religion and Public Policy in the Faculty of Law at the Universidade da Coruña (also of ICMES); Dr. Aicha El Hajjami, Professsor of Law and Researcher in Women and Family, University of Marrakech; and Dr. Emilio González Ferrín, Professor of Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Seville, and Chair Al-Andalus of the Three Cultures of the Mediterranean Foundation.

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Has Zionism Hijacked Judaism?

 

On Tuesday, February 7, 2017 at 3:00 PM, ICMES hosted a speaking event featuring Rabbi Yakov Shapiro. The event was held at the International Law Institute in Washington, D.C. Rabbi Shapiro is the rabbi of a congregation in Queens, New York. He is best known for his outspoken stance defending the historic Orthodox Jewish position that rejects the concept of Jewish nationalism and therefore opposes Zionism and does not recognize Israel as the Jewish State. He has represented this position on behalf of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community throughout the world to a remarkable variety of audiences, including those in the United States, the state of Israel and the EU in Brussels. Rabbi Shapiro is the author of three books and numerous articles dealing with Jewish philosophy and law. He is currently completing a three-volume work on traditional Jewish opposition to Zionism. [read more]

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Islam and the Role of Intellect

 

On September 28-29, 2016, ICMES co-sponsored a conference, “Islam and the Role of the Intellect,” in Seville, Spain. ICMES organized this conference with the University of Seville and the Three Cultures Foundation. Speakers were: Abdullahi An-Na’im, the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law at Emory University School of Law and Senior Fellow of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion of Emory University; Issam Saliba, an expert on Islamic law at the Law Library of Congress; Zouhair Louassini, writer and journalist at RAI News; and Ziauddin Sardar, journalist and writer, Chair of the Muslim Institute and editor of Critical Muslim. Introductory remarks were delivered by Jose Manuel Cervera Gragera, Director of the Three Cultures Foundation; Lola Ferro, General Director of Universities, Regional Government of Andalucia; and Norton Mezvinsky, President of ICMES. [read more]

[afternoon session]

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A Conversation with Ghada Karmi

 

On Thursday, November 5, 2015 from 4:00-6:00 PM, ICMES hosted an intimate conversation about Israel and Palestine with Dr. Ghada Karmi, at the International Law Institute. Ghada Karmi was born in Jerusalem and trained as a medical doctor at Bristol University. She established the first British-Palestinian medical charity in 1972 and was an associate fellow at the Royal Institute for International Affairs. Her previous books include: Jerusalem Today: What Future for the Peace Process?, The Palestinian Exodus 1948-1998, Married to Another Man and In Search of Fatima. Dr. Karmi discussed her latest book, Return, A Palestine Memoir. Dr. Norton Mezvinsky and Ms. Randa Fahmy conducted a dialogue with Dr. Karmi, followed by questions from the audience. Dr. Mezvinsky is president of ICMES and Emeritus Professor of History at Central Connecticut State University. Randa Fahmy is President and CEO of Fahmy Hudome International (FHI), and was Associate Deputy Secretary of Energy in the Bush Administration, after serving as Counselor to U.S. Senator Spencer Abraham.

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The Roots of ISIS and Prospects of its Humane Alternative

 

On September 30, 2015, Prof. Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na‘im of Emory University spoke about ISIS at the International Law Institute for ICMES’s second annual Ibrahim Abu-Rabi‘ Memorial Lecture. Dr. An-Na‘im argued that the effective and sustainable eradication of radical Salafism, commonly referred to as ISIS, in the MENA region and beyond calls for dynamic understanding of multiple sources and factors, but that nothing can be achieved without candid and honest confrontation of the theological and juridical roots of arbitrary and anarchical political violence in the history of Muslim societies. In his view, radical Salafism must be purged from the individual psyche and collective consciousness of Muslims everywhere in order for it to be militarily defeated in fields of Iraq and Syria, and deserts of North and West Africa. [read more]

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ISIS Between Saddam’s Iraq and Iraq Today

 

Amatzia Baram

[Click image to view entire program.]

On Tuesday, June 30, 2015 ICMES hosted Dr. Amatzia Baram, a Professor Emeritus of History and Director for Iraq Studies at the University of Haifa. Dr. Baram was a senior fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and at the U.S. Institute for Peace. He served at the Brookings Institute, was a senior fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation Center, and taught as the Goldman Chair Professor at Georgetown University. He has advised the Israeli government since 1980 and advised the U.S. government about Iraq and the Gulf and has written four books. [read more]

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Rethinking Islam in the Contemporary World

 

ICMES held its first Annual Ibrahim Abu-Rabi’ Commemorative Lecture on Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at the International Law Institute, 1055 Thomas Jefferson St. NW, Suite 100, Washington, D.C. The lecture was delivered by Dr. Carl W. Ernst, the W. R. Kenan Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies, and Co-Director of the Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations, at the University of North Carolina. Dr. Ernst is the author of several books on Islam, including The Shambhala Guide to Sufism and Following Muhammad (which has been translated into Arabic, Persian, Turkish, German, and Korean.)

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Shari‘ah and Halakhah in History and Intellectual Thought

 

On October 22, 2013, ICMES and the Hartford Seminary in Hartford, Connecticut hosted a comparative discussion about historico-political understandings within Judaism and Islam. Presenters were ICMES Secretary Issam Michael Saliba, legal expert on Islamic law and the laws of Middle Eastern and North African countries at the Law Library of Congress, and Rabbi Shlomo Yaffe, Scholar-in-Residence, Chabad House at Harvard University. Umar Moghul, attorney, Hartford Seminary Trustee, and Lecturer in Law at the University of Connecticut Law School, moderated the proceedings. [see flyer]

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Two Years into the Arab Spring: Islam, Elections, and Democratic Transformation

 

An-Naim[click image to view entire program]

On April 4, 2013 ICMES and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) hosted a jointly sponsored program, “Two Years into the Arab Spring: Islam, Elections, & Democratic Transformation,” on at IFES headquarters in Washington, D.C. Zeinab Abdelkarim of IFES introduced the panel with a short discussion of the process and technicalities involved in elections. ICMES Secretary Issam M. Saliba, Professor Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im (pictured above), the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law at Emory University, and Professor Daniel Brumberg, Associate Professor of Government at Georgetown University, followed as speakers and discussed elections and constitution writing within the context of Islam, Islamic law and Islamic societies. ICMES President Norton Mezvinsky served as moderator. [see flyer]

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Constitutionalism and Human Rights in Tunisia: The Islamist-led Democratic Transition Post-Arab Spring

 

In coordination with The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, and The Maghreb Center, ICMES hosted a one-day conference, “Constitutionalism and Human Rights in Tunisia: The Islamist-led Democratic Transition Post-Arab Spring,” on March 5, 2013 at Johns Hopkins’ Kenney Auditorium. The conference was organized by ICMES Secretary Issam M. Saliba, Dr. Mohamed Mattar, Executive Director of The Protection Project at SAIS, and Dr. Nejib Ayachi, President, The Maghreb Center. Participants included Dr. Alaya Allani, Professor of History, Manouba University, Tunis; Dr. Ghazi Gherairi, Law Professor, University of Tunis and Secretary General, The International Academy for Constitutional Law, Tunis; and Ms. Naziha Réjiba, journalist, human rights activist, and 2009 Recipient of the International Press Freedom Award of the Committee to Protect Journalists, Tunis. [read more]

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