“Woman and the constitution: Fear of woman’s marginalization rules over all” blared an April 2012 headline in al-Ahram, joining other protests over the role of women in Egypt’s new constitution. Organizations (“EgyptSoft”) sprang up, with articles and posts about how “the Egyptian woman screams in the face of the constitution of discrimination.” Fear reigned about how the post-revolutionary Islamist government would approach women’s rights, with many women’s organizations striking a defensive posture. The government of Mohamed Morsi pushed through the new constitution, despite protests all around, including a ritualistic hair cutting ceremony in Tahrir Square. Continue reading →
Converts have the potential to be a powerful and transformative influence on both the heritage Muslim community and wider British society – Yasir Suleiman
A ground-breaking report examining the experiences of nearly 50 British women of all ages, ethnicities, backgrounds and faiths (or no faith) – who have all converted to Islam – was launched in London yesterday by the University of Cambridge.
The report, produced by the University’s Centre of Islamic Studies (CIS), in association with the New Muslims Project, Markfield, is a fascinating dissection of the conversion experience of women in Britain in the 21st Century.
The first forum of its kind held in the UK, the study concludes with a series of recommendations for the convert, heritage Muslim, and wider British communities. The 129-page report also outlines the social, emotional and sometimes economic costs of conversion, and the context and reasons for women converting to Islam in a society with pervasive negative stereotypes about the faith. Continue reading →
The tiny peninsula state of Qatar is building an empire. Ever since the current emir Shaykh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani wrested power from his father in 1995, he has worked ceaselessly to place his tribal shaikhdom on the world stage. He has the money to buy this place among the world’s leading nations and also the desire to play emperor.
The first step was to establish a 24-hour satellite television station that bypassed the censors of local media agencies and ministries. Within weeks of its creation Al-Jazeera had crippled Arab autocracies’ absolute control over the information their people received. Al-Jazeera has become the go-to place for all trying to understand regional crises like the Tunisian, Egyptian, Libyan, Yemeni, Bahraini and Syrian uprisings of the past two years. Continue reading →
The Transcultural Islam Research Network (TIRN) will be following the academic calendar and thus reducing the frequency of our posts over the next few months. We will post occasionally, but encourage all of you to check out our sister site ISLAMiCommentary over the summer months, and the web site’s Facebook page. Continue also to follow our @TIRNscholars Twitter feed.
Arabic Literature: Migration, Diaspora, Exile, Estrangement Columbia University ,New York City November 1-3, 2013
Arabic literature’s relationship with questions of migration, diaspora and exile date from early Islamic engagements with hijrah or migration, to our own diasporic and exilic present, conveyed in the poetry and prose of migration, war, alienation, estrangement and displacement.
We invite you to consider how Arab experiences of migration, diaspora, exile and estrangement mark and form Arabic literature, with an eye not only to the thematic terms of this encounter, but also its manifestations in debates over genre, publication geography, and literary historiography. Scholars working in all periods of Arabic literary and theoretical production are warmly invited to submit abstracts. Continue reading →