Fall Programming - Contextualising Islam in Britain
The lecture sets out to answer the following questions: What does it mean to be British Muslim? What frameworks can be used to explore Islam in its British context? Does the answer lie in assimilation, integration, multi-culturalism or in some other organising principle or principles? The lecture will report on the findings of a government-funded project conducted at the University of Cambridge in 2008/9 to provide answers to the above questions. Twenty-five Muslim scholars, Imams, community activists and social scientists met over five weekends to develop a preliminary framework to deal with what it means to be a British Muslim. The discussions covered the following issues: Islam and the secular nation state, Islam and pluralism, Islam and human rights, the sharia as a moral path for action rather than as a rigid set of jurisprudential rules. The lecture will deal with the project from the point of view of knowledge production. It will provide reflections on the relationship between members of the project, the relationship of the project to the government as funder and the position of the project leader as insider-outsider. The social life of the project is, therefore, as worthy of consideration as its content.
University of Cambridge
Professor Suleiman is His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Professor of Modern Arabic Studies, a Fellow of King's College, formerly Head of the Department of Middle Eastern Studies and Founding Director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Centre of Islamic Studies. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Professor Suleiman's research covers the cultural politics of the Middle East with special focus on identity, conflict, diaspora studies and modernization in so far as these issues relate to language, modern Arabic literature, translation and memory. He also conducts research in Arabic grammatical theory and the Arabic intellectual tradition in the pre-modern period.
Arabic Language Program
Center for International Education
Middle Eastern and North African Studies Certificate Program