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Scholars gather at Laurier to discuss nature of Islamic belonging and identity
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WATERLOO — The question of identity is something many people struggle with in one form or another, regardless of culture, religion or race.
But for today’s contemporary Muslims, the questions are becoming increasingly complex.
With Muslim community ideals on the one hand, and effects of the ongoing “global war on terror” contributing to a climate of conflict on the other, some Muslims are reaching back to past forms of Islamic community to define themselves, while others are looking to identify new ways of being Muslim in today’s world.
On Nov. 24, scholars from across Canada and the United States will gather at Laurier to debate the nature of Islamic belonging and identity at the Association of Muslim Social Scientists of North America (AMSS)’s regional conference: Cosmopolitan Islamic Identity and Thought.
“Following the tragic events of 9/11, Muslim identities and the religion of Islam have been under siege. There is a need to explore this crisis of identity within the broader geo-political context,” says Jasmin Zine, an assistant sociology professor at Laurier, an AMSS board member, and conference co-chair. “We hope that this conference will provide a thought-provoking forum to discuss timely issues of interest to the fields of international affairs, globalization and religion and religious identities in the postmodern world.”
Conference participants will explore the Muslim identity in the context of global citizenship, religious and cultural pluralism and human solidarity.
The conference’s keynote addresses will include Consumption and Cosmopolitanism: The Veil, The Body, The Law by Reina Lewis of the University of East London, and Muslimwoman Cosmopolitanism by miriam cooke of Duke University.
Wilfrid Laurier University’s Muslim studies program committee, religion and culture, women’s studies, sociology and language and literature are co-sponsoring the event. Laurier professors Shahnaz Khan and Jasmin Zine are conference co-chairs.
The event takes place on Saturday Nov. 24, 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. in the Senate and Board Chamber, Wilfrid Laurier University. It is open to the public and registration is free. Luncheon and keynote tickets are $10. Please register by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional conference details, please visit http://amss.net
Lori Chalmers Morrison