Reading Session on What Went Wrong with Muslim Societies? Postcolonialism and the Rise of Modern Apologetics With Dr Nader Hashemi
December 11, 2017

Date: Friday, 15th December 2017
Time: 7PM – 10PM
Venue: Graha Pemuda, Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur

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Colonialism in the Islamic world has left a detrimental legacy that Muslims are still struggling to overcome. The two most corrosive aspects of this legacy has been on debates surrounding the construction of Muslim identity and in the realm of intellectual thought. These problems are directly related to the imbalance in power relations between the West and the Islamic world, which Muslims are acutely aware of today. As a result, some Muslims have become obsessed with trying to remedy a collective sense of powerlessness and political defeat by engaging in highly symbolic and sensationalistic acts of power symbolism. In the area of ideas, a modern discourse of apologetics has developed. This has created a fertile ground for the rise and expansion of puritanical interpretations of Islam. In this lecture, these themes will be examined by drawing upon Khaled Abou El Fadl’s recent book, Reasoning with God: Reclaiming the Sharia for the Modern Age. The key question that will be explored is: how has the legacy of colonialism contributed to the rise of extremist interpretations of Islam during the postcolonial ear? Participants are asked to do the assigned reading before participating in this event.

700-800PM: Dinner and Solat
800-810PM: Opening speech by Moderator, Ehsan Shahwahid
810-900PM: Presentation by Dr Nader Hashemi
900-1000PM: Discussion
1000PM: End

Organized by: Islamic Renaissance Front

Speaker’s Biography

Dr. Nader Hashemi is a Professor and Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies. Born and raised in the Toronto area to Iranian parents, Dr. Hashemi completed his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in Canada. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto and was a research affiliate at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University, a postdoctoral Fellow at Northwestern University, and a Global Fellow at the UCLA International Institute. He has contributed to The New York TimesTIMEThe Wall Street JournalCNN, and has appeared on The PBS Newshour. He is the author of Islam, Secularism, and Liberal Democracy, and co-editor of The Syria Dilemma and The People Reloaded: The Green Movement and the Struggle for Iran’s Future. As an undergraduate student in Ottawa, Canada, Hashemi hosted a radio program. He is an avid swimmer and enjoys playing the guitar.

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