Roundtable Discussion On: Islam In Global Politics: A Civilizational Crisis
December 31, 2017

Date: Sunday, 7th January 2018
Time: 2PM – 530PM
Venue: Spices, Concorde Hotel, KL

Prof Ebrahim Moosa

Dato’ Prof Dr Rashila Ramli, IKMAS, UKM
Emeritus Professor Clive Kessler, UNSW
Prof Syed Farid Alatas, NUS

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In the views of many, the contemporary world in which we live appears to be marked most prominently by the emergence of what is regularly referred to as “a clash of civilizations”. Proponents of the discourse of a clash have sought confirmation of their views by pointing to the increasing hostility and animosity between cultural regions — most obviously between the Islamic and Western worlds — that has defined the last quarter of the twentieth and the first decade of the twenty-first centuries.

The long list of incidents that have revealed the intensifying tension between the Muslim and Western worlds over the past few years is countless. The terrorist attacks of 9/11, the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan, and the interminable conflict between Israelis and Palestinians are merely the highest profile examples of a global politics whose ramifications extend to even the very local and regional levels.

And one may also point to the rising Islamophobic sentiment in other parts of the world which finds expression in such senseless acts as the burning of copies of the Qur’an to express hatred towards Islam. Similarly, the relative success of far-right political parties in Europe who are intent on marginalizing their Muslim communities. But on the other side, we also see a growing suspicion and reticence on the part of Arabs and Muslims to engage with Westerners on matters that may help develop their own societies.Could a proper understanding of the nature and purpose of dialogue with the other, a conscious effort to rebuild trust among different parties, and the emphasis and discovery of points of commonality help to solve this civilizational crisis? These are some of the issues that will be debated in this forum in view for a harmonious future for the world inhabited by all civilizations and cultures.

200-230PM:   Registration
230-235PM:  Opening Speech by Chairperson, Elma Berisha
235-250PM:  Welcoming speech by Dr Narimah Awin
250-300PM:   Speech by moderator Ehsan Shahwahid
300-345PM:   Presentation on “Islam In Global Politics: A Civilizational Crisis” by Prof Ebrahim Moosa
345-400PM:   Intervener I: Dato’ Prof Dr Rashila Ramli
400-415PM:   Intervener II: Emeritus Professor Clive Kessler
415-430PM:   Intervener III: Prof Syed Farid Alatas
430-530PM:   Discussion
530PM         :   Tea

Jointly organized by:
Islamic Renaissance Front and G25

Speakers’ Biographies:
Prof. Ebrahim Moosa is a Professor of History and Islamic Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Ebrahim Moosa’s interpretative and historical research on questions related to Islamic tradition, ethics and law include two monographs as well as several edited and co-edited books. His prize-winning book Ghazali and the Poetics of Imagination (University of North Carolina Press, 2005) was awarded the Best First Book in the History of Religions by the American Academy of Religion.  And, is the author What is a Madrasa? (University of North Carolina Press, 2015. His publications include several co-edited books, among them The African Renaissance and the Afro-Arab Spring (Georgetown University Press 2015); Islam in the Modern World (Routledge 2014) and, Muslim Family Law in Sub-Saharan Africa: Colonial Legacies and Post-Colonial Challenges, (Amsterdam University Press, Spring, 2010). He is also the editor of the last manuscript of the late Professor Fazlur Rahman, Revival and Reform in Islam: A Study of Islamic Fundamentalism (Oxford: Oneworld, 2000). Moosa has published influential essays on Islamic law, theology as well as contemporary Muslim ethics, bioethics, biotechnology and political thought.  Moosa is also regarded as a prominent public intellectual. In 2007 he was invited to deliver the 2007 King Hasan Lecture (Durus Hasaniyya) to his Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco in Arabic.

Professor Rashila Ramli is the Professor of Political Science and Director of the Institute of Malaysian and International Studies (IKMAS), Malaysia. Her areas of specialization are Political Development, Human Security, Gender and Politics, and International Politics focusing on Global Governance including Governance of the South China Sea and its implication on ASEAN.

Professor Clive S. Kessler is now Emeritus Professor of Sociology & Anthropology at the University of New South Wales, Sydney Australia, where he held a professorial position from 1980 to 2004. Before that he held academic positions at LSE and Barnard College, Columbia University, New York. He has been studying Malay culture, society, politics and religion since the mid-1960s. He also writes about multiculturalism, religion and democratic theory. He is especially interested in the divergent evolutionary development (doctrinal, political and social) of the three forms of Abrahamic ethical-prophetic monotheism (Judaism, Christianity and Islam), in the long-term patterns of historical interrelations between the three civilizations born within these faith communities, and with the way and extent to which those intercivilizational dynamics have provided the contours of much of world history. His more general work centres on the question of modernity and its varying cultural forms and diverse civilizational expressions. He has held visiting positions at and maintains close connections with several Malaysian universities. His contributions to scholarship have been recognized in his election as a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia.

Professor Syed Farid Alatas is currently Professor of Sociology at the National University of Singapore (NUS). Prior to joining NUS, he has lectured at the University of Malaya in the Department of Southeast Asian Studies and later headed the Department of Malay Studies in NUS from 2007 to 2013. His areas of interest are the sociology of Islam, Orientalism in the social science, the sociology of Islam, and intra- and inter-religious dialogue. He has written widely on these areas as well as that of Muslim societies in the region and abroad. His most recent books include Ibn Khaldun (Oxford University Press, 2013) and Applying Ibn Khaldun(Routledge, 2014), and (with Vineeta Sinha) Sociological Theory Beyond the Canon (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017)

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