The loud discourse on Islam in the United States today marks Muslims as a threat, embroiled in pre-modern sensibilities, and unable to participate in democratic societies. These articulations are often made by recycling colonial and oriental images of Muslim women as oppressed and Muslim men as violent, with objects such as the hijab and the figure of the terrorist at the center. This rise of Islamophobic commentary has resulted in myriad incidences of bullying, teasing, and direct violence against teachers and students who identify, or are read by others, as Muslims. All this points to the lack of understanding about Islam and Muslims in the United States. This panel will argue for the urgent need for religious literacy and introduce the Cultural Studies method to understand Islam and Muslims.
Dr. Ali Asani, Professor of Indo-Muslim Religion and Cultures; Director of Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Islamic Studies Program, Harvard University
Dr. Diane Moore, Director, Religious Literacy Project; Senior Lecturer on Religious Studies and Education; Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of World Religions, Harvard University
Dr. Hussein Rashid, Founder of islamicate, L3C, a consultancy focusing on religious literacy and cultural competency
Shenila Khoja-Moolji, Research Fellow, Teachers College; Education Affiliate, Religious Literacy Project, Harvard University
Date: April 21, 2016
Time: 7 to 9pm
Teachers College, Columbia University