Islam and Muslims in Academia – Dr Munir Jiwa

Dr. Munir Jiwa discusses the national frames through which Islam and Muslims enter discussions and debates in the public sphere and the particular ways these impact the study of Islam and Muslims in academia.

He offers a critique of secular and liberal norms and how both the Euro-American left and right, inside and outside academia, selectively create and reproduce an index of “good” and “bad” Islam, Muslims, and Islamic Studies.

Content Outline:

0:0:0 Assalam Alaykum (Safir Ahmed)
0:01:48 Speaker’s Introduction
0:03:59 Assalam Alaykum/How We Do Islamic Studies (Dr. Munir Jiwa)
0:07:14 How We Think About Islam and Muslims Across History and Academia
0:11:00 Calendars, and Timing
0:13:46 What is Secularism: Ideally and Politically
0:18:34 Personal Experience in the Realm of Academia
0:21:39 The Five Media Pillars of Islam
0:22:13 (I) 9/11 as an Introduction to Islam
0:25:46 The History of Secular Violence
0:27:17 (II) Islamic Violence vs Secular Violence
0:30:19 (III) Women and Gender
0:33:14 Colonial Feminism and the War in Afghanistan
0:35:54 Are Muslims Liberal Enough
0:39:47 (IV) Islam in the West, Do They Belong
0:42:26 (V) The Middle East
0:43:42 An Analysis of of How These Pillars Get Unpacked in Real Settings
0:46:39 Islamic Theology and Objectivity
0:50:07 A Paragraph on Good Muslim, Bad Muslim***
0:51:22 Liberal Norms and Islam
0:54:05 Conclusion
01:00:32 Closeout Comments (Safir Ahmed)

Comments, Questions and Answers

01:03:07 Question 1: How do you begin to create new frames for Muslims and Islam rather than challenge the existing ones?
01:09:00 Question 2: Can you speak more on the departmental divisions that push Islam to the side of traditional Western academic institutions and the best way to navigate Islamic studies in an academic environment?
01:14:21 Question 3: Much of you talked about is in relation to modern nation-states, can you speak to this idea applied to nation building projects? Do you see any similarities in framing for unestablished nations?
01:19:10 Question 4: As a non-Muslim who is being made aware of these frames but still watches a lot of TV, what’s the fundamental things I must ask myself when consuming media about Islam and Muslims?
01:23:17 Question 5: Looking at the dominant frameworks that you speak of, how does one accept the framework of the dominant knowledge producing force and how, within that, do we look at different rhythms that work for other societies? How do we interpret those frameworks?
01:35:12 Question 6/7: In a world where there are sectarian wars between Sunnis and Shias, what role does religion play to unite us? (Q7) What inspirations can we draw from to be beautiful and share beauty knowing that it may end up in a violent frame?

With gratitude to our Content Partner,
Zaytuna College.

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