On September 8, 2011, the CMES Outreach Center, along with the Middle East Initiative at the Harvard Kennedy School, and the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program, hosted a campus-wide panel discussion on the tenth anniversary of 9/11. The panel was comprised of Jocelyne Cesari, Director, Islam in the West Program and the Islamopedia Project; Research Associate of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies; Senior Research Fellow at Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris; Duncan Kennedy, Carter Professor of General Jurisprudence, Harvard Law School; and Charlie Clements, Executive Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, Harvard Kennedy School.
Introduction by Outreach Director Paul Beran
Shelby Condray is the current webmaster for Euro-Islam.info
His work history in technology includes Harvard University Center for Government and International Studies, Boston University School of Management, Yale School of Music, and numerous other organizations both inside and outside of academia.
He has an MDIV from Boston University School of Theology, a MM from Yale University School of Music, and two undergraduate degrees from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
His current interests are the Corporatization of the Media, Human Rights (especially GLBT rights), and late 20th century developments in American Protestantism.
As salaam alaykum wa rahmatullah Dear All,
The Muslim American Society welcomes the news of the demise of Osama bin
Laden. The intentional killing of civilians for political ends is
terrorism, and this has been the mode of operation of Al Qaeda as
directed by Osama bin Laden. We pray that this development leads to a
reduction in radical extremism in the world, and that fewer fall victim
to it. Indeed fighting against acts of terror, radical extremism, and
its root causes must continue to be part of our nation’s agenda.
Finally, we pray that bin Laden’s demise brings some solace to the
thousands of families, Muslims and non-Muslims, who have been victimized
by Al Qaeda’s crimes.
This National Post column features an interview with author, activist and columnist Sheema Khan. Khan describes her family’s immigration history from India to Montreal, and how, as a graduate student in chemical physics at Harvard University, she decided to become more religiously observant and chose to wear a hijab. Khan’s collection of personal essays, Of Hockey and Hijab: Reflections of a Canadian Muslim Woman (Tsar, 2010), is now available.
Professor Jocelyne Cesari, Director of Harvard’s Islam in the West Program discusses today’s most pressing integration issues in this interview.
She explores how Muslims in America and Europe differ, Islam’s compatibility with democracy, homegrown radicalism in the West, Switzerland’s minaret ban, France’s national identity debate, and ways to build stronger bridges between our two worlds.
American Muslim convert and Harvard Islamic studies graduate student Michael Muhammed Knight is an essayist, a novelist, and performance artist who embraces a rebellious, alternative interpretation of Islam. His mission? To “shed antiquated and retrograde seventh-century ideas and make Islam consistent with the liberations of the 21st century.”
In his work and his spirituality, he strives to separate himself from conservatives who view Islamic as a monolithic, uncompromising orthodoxy, a worldview he feels is linked to undemocratic governmental rule.
An account of his travels through the Muslim world, “Journey to the End of Islam” has been published. It profiles the diversity of practice in Islam while critiquing conservative values.
“I had chosen Islam because it was the religion of Malcolm X, a language of resistance against unjust power. But in Pakistan, Islam was the unjust power…Pakistan’s Islam was guilty of everything for which I rebelled against Reagan-Falwell Christianity in America.”
After a glimpse into Muslim cultures across the globe, Knight has a better understanding of its multiplicity. He also has faith in American freedom. “In a weird way, America can save Islam.”
The Alavi Foundation, recently accused of illegally providing funding and services to Iran, supported Middle Eastern culture and language programs at Harvard to promote Islamic education. Harvard Spokesman Kevin Galvin said that officials of the university were unaware of Alavi’s ties.
Middle East studies Professor Roger Owen received grants from Alavi for his work at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies.
The organization has also donated hundreds of thousands to Rutgers University and Columbia University to fund Persian language and culture programs. It also owns the Razi School, a private Islamic grade school in Queens.
They continue to deny charges of funding Iran and are fighting government efforts to seize their properties, which include mosques around the country.