Madrid Forum seeks Muslim-Western understanding

Spanish government and UN leaders plan to hold the first Alliance of Civilizations forum in mid-January. The conference, which will take place in Madrid, will foster dialogue on such topics like terrorism and cultural clashes. The alliance was created after the September 11th, 2001 attacks to foster an understanding between Islam and the West, and to address issues that continue to cause tensions. International delegates and leaders from Malaysia, Algeria, Turkey, Portugal, in addition to representatives from many organizations and universities plan to attend the conference.

Halal Supply Chain in Netherlands Expected to be Ready in 6 Months

The halal supply chain in the Netherlands for products from Malaysia – a collaboration between Port Klang and the Port of Rotterdam – is expected to be established in six months. Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) director Bas Pulles said the halal supply chain at the Port of Rotterdam is needed to tap the growing halal food market in Europe as well as the world. “We already have logistics service providers with halal certification but the halal supply chain has not been in place yet…

Source halal products from Malaysia, Trade Minister urges French businesses

The Malaysian trade minister Rafidah Aziz is encouraging the French community to source halal products from Malaysia to serve Muslim communities in Europe. Citing the widespread appeal of product quality and integrity, Aziz is encouraging a Malaysian/French partnership to build a healthy trade relationship between the two countries.

Private banking seeks new Islamic niche

It seems logical: combine two of the fastest growing financial sectors in south and south-east Asia – Islamic banking, and private banking – to create a new niche: private banking for rich Muslims in the region. After all, about 350m believers live in the rapidly expanding economies of India, Indonesia and Malaysia. If only a few hundred thousand of them are high-net-worth individuals, the CIMB Private Bank in Malaysia is a pioneer in this segment. It announced in April it would offer high-net-worth individuals with MDollars 1m (Pounds 145,000, Euros 208,000, USDollars 297,000) or more of investable assets a service based on shariah principles…

Imam Talal Eid – The World is His Mosque: Quincy resident’s star is rising around the globe ahead of Vietnam visit

By Lane Lambert QUINCY – There he was in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, at a lavish reception marking the nation’s 50th anniversary of independence. Britain’s Prince Andrew was seated to his right, Australia’s ambassador to his left, and Brunei’s foreign minister across the table. ”And they were asking me about Muslims in America,” said Imam Talal Eid, recalling the event a month later. The 56-year-old Lebanon native and Quincy resident is fielding such questions more often than ever these days, in farther-flung places. Four months after he became the first Muslim cleric appointed to the high-profile U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, he is traveling the globe acting as something of a U.S. ambassador to the Islamic world.

Islam and Feminism today

The 2007 Fall Institute at UMass Boston invites proposals that explore critically the relationship between Islam and Feminisms today. It seeks to examine the complex and rich terrain of Islam as a force for understanding global politics, an impetus for political and psychological self-determination, a stimulus for cultural productions, and a foundation for identity. By engaging Islam through a feminist lens, we hope to challenge inadequately interrogated assumptions and modes of thinking that posit secularism and democracy in opposition to religiosity and oppression. The critical perspective of feminist analysis provides a particularly valuable window into the many struggles internal to Islam, its changing dynamics over time, and the intersecting influences of economic/cultural globalization, imperialism and patriarchal power structures in the lives of individuals, communities, and nations.

Conference Details

Engaging Islam: Preliminary Conference Schedule The Institute is free and open to the public. No registration is necessary for non-presenting attendees.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12

Panel Title: “Defining Islamic Feminisms”

Key-Note: Amina Wadud

Key-Note: Haideh Moghissi

Key-Note: Lila Abu-Lughod

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 13

Panel Title: “Negotiating Shari’a and the ‘Secular State’”

9-10AM Key-Note: Madhavi Sunder

10-10:30AM – Break

10:30-12:30 – Panel:

  • Berna Turam “Democratization and Muslim Women: The Case of Secular Turkey”
  • Natasha Dar “Liberté, Equalité, Fraternité, and the Shari’a: The Production of Islamic Legal Knowledges and ‘The Muslim Woman’ in the French-North African Diaspora”
  • Mitra Rastegar “Secularism through U.S. policies and discourses on Islam and Muslim citizens”
  • 12:30-1:30 Break for Lunch

    Panel Title: “Negotiating Shari’a and the ‘Secular State’” (continued)

    1:30 -2:30 Key-Note: Tariq Modood

    Break: 2:30-3PM

    3-5PM – Panel:

  • Srimati Basu “Separate and Unequal: Muslim Women, Women’s Movements and Un-uniform Family Law in India”
  • Jasmin Zine “Negotiating Religion and the Secular State: Muslim Women and Shari’a Law Tribunals in Canada”
  • 6-7:30PM – Screen Film “Silent Waters”
  • 7:30PM – Dinner & Presentation by Shahnaz Khan
  • FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14

    Panel Title: “Challenging Hegemonic Representations of Muslim Women”

    9-10AM – Keynote: Lara Deeb

    10-10:30AM- Break

    10:30-12:30 – Panel

  • Elizabeth Bucar “Good Hijab, Bad Hijab: The Politics of Religious Dress in Iran”
  • Peter McMurray “Speaking the Unspeakable: Three Representations of Wartime Sexual Violence Against Bosnian Muslim Women”
  • Surbhi Tiwari “Whither Fundamentalism or Feminism? Sania Mirza, ‘sexy’ dressing and the politics of (erotic) identity”
  • 12:30-1:30 – Break for Lunch
  • Panel Title: “Globalization, Gender Relations, and Sexuality”

    1:30-2:30 PM – Key-Note: Jasbir Puar

    Break: 2:30-3PM

    3-5PM – Panel:

  • Ashley Al-Sayyad “Queer Muslim Women: Visibility, Diaspora, and Islam”
  • Chris Kelly “Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered (GLBT) Muslim Converts”
  • Sonja Van Wichelen “Politics of Presence: Feminist Contestations over a New Muslim Indonesia” Dinner at a restaurant in Cambridge
  • SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15

    Panel Title: “Political Economy and Islamic Feminisms”

    9-10AM – Keynote: Lamia Karim

    10-10:30AM – Break

    10:30-12:30 – Panel:

  • Fauzia Ahmed “Islam, Poverty Alleviation, & Masculinity”
  • Roksana Bahramitash “Iranian Islamic Women as ‘the Other’: A Class Analysis of the Role of Women in the Informal Economy and Islamic Micro Credit”
  • Damla Isik “On Weaving, Sohbet, and Patience: Governance of Time and Labor in Konya’s Weaving Industry”
  • 12:30-1:30 – Break for Lunch

    Panel Title: “Coalition-building and Transnationalism”

    1:30PM – Key-Note: Zainah Anwar

    Break: 2:30-3PM

    3-5PM – Panel:

  • Azza Basarudin “Recreating Communities of the Faithful?: Negotiating Gender, Religion & Feminism in Malaysia and Egypt”
  • Tina Nebe “Islam in the Public and Private Spaces: Turkey, Iran, Nigeria, and Indonesia”
  • Dina Siddiqi “Legislating Fatwas: Dilemmas and Contradictions for Feminists”
  • Rafia Zakaria “Dangerous Truths: the Muslim woman’s story and the emerging chasm between transnational feminist scholarship and activism”
  • SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 16

    Panel Title: Pedagogy and Islam

    9AM-11:30 – Panel:

  • Hilary Kalmach “Female Leadership and Activism in Conservative Islamic Communities: An Islamic Form of Feminism?”
  • Juliet Gentile “From ‘Honorary Man’ to Sheikha: The Path of Sufi Women in the West”
  • Jennifer Fluri “The Corporeal Marker: Gender, Space and Islam”
  • 11:30-12 – Break

    12-1PM – Closing Remarks

    For more details about the institute and guidelines for submissions, visit website.

    Denmark: Iran Rejects Rice Claim It Is Inflaming Muslim Prophet Row

    JAKARTA, Indonesia – An Iranian vice president on Thursday rejected a US contention that his country was fanning Muslim anger over the Prophet Mohammad cartoons, while a newspaper in Malaysia faced closure for printing one of the images. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in Washington that Iran and Syria have gone out of their way to inflame sentiments that have produced violent protests across the Muslim world against publication of the caricatures. That is 100 percent a lie, Isfandiar Rahim Mashaee, one of several Iranian vice presidents, told reporters during a visit to Indonesia. It is without attribution. The demonstrations – directed mostly at the foreign missions of Denmark, where the cartoons were first published – turned deadly this week in Afghanistan, where nine people have been fatally shot in clashes between demonstrators and security forces. The images – including one depicting the prophet wearing a turban shaped as a bomb – have been reprinted in mostly Western media. Islam is interpreted to forbid any illustrations of the prophet. In Muslim-majority Malaysia, a newspaper that published printed one of the caricatures said it expected its printing license to be suspended by the government, while police launched an investigation over the issue. The Sarawak Press newspaper group has faced relentless public criticism despite apologizing for what it says was an editorial oversight that led to the publication of the caricature in its Sarawak Tribune last Saturday. We may not have publication of the newspaper by tomorrow, Sarawak Press executive director Polit Hamzah told The Associated Press on Thursday. Police questioned the editor who authorized the cartoon’s publication for two hours on Thursday and were examining whether the paper’s management broke any laws, the national news agency, Bernama, cited Sarawak’s police chief Talib Jamal as saying. The editor, Lester Melanyi, resigned over the controversy. In his first comments on the row, US President George W. Bush on Wednesday condemned deadly rioting in Afghanistan and urged foreign leaders to halt the violence and protect diplomats in besieged embassies. Police killed four people Wednesday as Afghans enraged over prophet drawings marched on a US military base in a volatile southern province. Five others were killed in protests earlier this week in Afghanistan. The US base was targeted because the United States is the leading infidel in the world, said Sher Mohammed, a 40-year-old farmer who suffered a gunshot wound while taking part in the demonstration in the city of Qalat. They are all the enemy of Islam. US officials say they are looking into whether extremist groups may be inciting protesters to riot. Zahor Afghan, editor for Erada, Afghanistan’s most respected newspaper, said the riots in his country have surprised him. No media in Afghanistan has published or broadcast pictures of these cartoons. The radio has been reporting on it, but there are definitely people using this to incite violence against the presence of foreigners in Afghanistan, he said. Afghanistan’s top Islamic organization, the Ulama Council, urged an end to the violence.