by BRUCE LAWRENCE (This essay will appear in the journal “Critical Muslim 2: The Idea of Islam” (Volume 2) to be published on September 25, 2012):

Muslim cosmopolitanism seemed to me the most natural of dinner table topics. But my family and friends    around the dinner table had other ideas. Many had never heard of Muslim cosmopolitanism, and so when I asked for initial responses to what it might mean, I received some unexpected responses.

My daughter thought it sounded like an oxymoron. Isn’t ‘cosmopolitan’ the opposite of religious identity? No one talks about Christian or Jewish cosmopolitans. How can there be Muslim cosmopolitans? My brother-in-law exclaimed, ‘I think it’s too elitist. After all, cosmopolitans are jet setters. Perhaps some wealthy Gulf Arabs might qualify. But the Arab spring is moving towards summer: no folks from Cairo or Tunis or Tripoli are eager to be called cosmopolitan, and so the term is meaningless for them, and for most Muslims.’

edited by KECIA ALI, JULIANE HAMMER, and LAURY SILVERS in 2012:

Excerpt from the Introduction:

It all started with a workshop fittingly titled: “Constructing Muslim ‘Feminist Ethics: Gendered power Relations in the Qur’an and the Prophetic Example.” In October 2010, the three of us, Kecia Ali, Laury Silvers and Juliane Hammer, along with Fatima Seedat, invited a group of Muslim women scholars to George Mason University in Fairfax, VA, to discuss our shared and longstanding interests in questions of Qur’anic hermeneutics, gender roles, and the ethics of rethinking both. We invited Hina Azam, Aysha Hidayatullah, and Saadia Yacoob. Amina Wadud was our guest of honor. Our conversations were honest, wide-­ranging, and productive. And it was at the end of the workshop that the idea for this volume was born. Continue reading

By UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN LIBRARY, in AUGUST, 2012:

The (University of Michigan) Library has been awarded a CLIR-sponsored, Mellon-funded “Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives” grant to support our “Collaboration in Cataloging: Islamic Manuscripts at Michigan” project. Continue reading

by PEW FORUM ON RELIGION AND PUBLIC LIFE on AUGUST 9, 2012:

Excerpt from the Executive Summary — The world’s 1.6 billion Muslims are united in their belief in God and the Prophet Muhammad and are bound together by such religious practices as fasting during the holy month of Ramadan and almsgiving to assist people in need. But they have widely differing views about many other aspects of their faith, including how important religion is to their lives, who counts as a Muslim and what practices are acceptable in Islam, according to a worldwide survey by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life. Continue reading