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"Islam and the West"


Daniel Peterson

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People in the area might enjoy a conference on "Islam and the West" being sponsored today by the Wheatley Institution at BYU, all events being held in the Hinckley Center. Of particular note is the evening lecture by Khaled Abou El Fadl, who is an extremely distinguished (moderate) Muslim intellectual:

1:30 p.m. — THE MUSLIM PERSPECTIVE

Douglas Johnston, President and Founder, International Center for Religion and Diplomacy, will moderate a panel that will include Ingrid Mattson, professor of Islamic studies and Christian-Muslim

relations at Hartford Seminary; Sulayman Nyang, professor and chair of African studies at Howard University; and Khosrow Semnani, president of S.K. Hart Management.

3:30 p.m. — THE WESTERN PERSPECTIVE

Moderator Fred Axelgard, vice president of Middle East business development at General Dynamics, will lead a panel that will feature General Buford Blount, University of Southern Mississippi; Donna Lee Bowen, BYU professor of political science; and Daniel Peterson, BYU professor of Islamic studies and Arabic.

7:30 p.m. — Address by Khaled Abou El Fadl, Omar and Azmeralda Alfi professor of law at the UCLA School of Law.

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People in the area might enjoy a conference on "Islam and the West" being sponsored today by the Wheatley Institution at BYU, all events being held in the Hinckley Center. Of particular note is the evening lecture by Khaled Abou El Fadl, who is an extremely distinguished (moderate) Muslim intellectual:

1:30 p.m. — THE MUSLIM PERSPECTIVE

Douglas Johnston, President and Founder, International Center for Religion and Diplomacy, will moderate a panel that will include Ingrid Mattson, professor of Islamic studies and Christian-Muslim

relations at Hartford Seminary; Sulayman Nyang, professor and chair of African studies at Howard University; and Khosrow Semnani, president of S.K. Hart Management.

3:30 p.m. — THE WESTERN PERSPECTIVE

Moderator Fred Axelgard, vice president of Middle East business development at General Dynamics, will lead a panel that will feature General Buford Blount, University of Southern Mississippi; Donna Lee Bowen, BYU professor of political science; and Daniel Peterson, BYU professor of Islamic studies and Arabic.

7:30 p.m. — Address by Khaled Abou El Fadl, Omar and Azmeralda Alfi professor of law at the UCLA School of Law.

I wish I could make it to this.

I would want to know what constitutes a "moderate" Muslim for believing and wanting to institute Sharia law doesn't sound too "moderate" to me IMO.

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I would want to know what constitutes a "moderate" Muslim for believing and wanting to institute Sharia law doesn't sound too "moderate" to me IMO.

Professor Abou El-Fadl's remarks this evening were partially devoted to that question, and particularly so in the Q&A.

He studied traditional Islamic legal materials for thirteen years in Egypt and Kuwait, and then studied at Yale (B.A.), the University of Pennsylvania (J.D.) and Princeton (Ph.D.), and he knows something about shari‘a.

Ingrid Mattson, who is herself something of a specialist in Islamic law, also addressed the subject at various points.

(Incidentally, the conference was filmed. I'm not sure what they plan to do with the footage.)

I'll say this: I think that shari‘a has been demonized to a certain extent in the popular media. It's not a monolith, there are various schools and interpretations of it, and it's not intrinsically or even largely evil.

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Professor Abou El-Fadl's remarks this evening were partially devoted to that question, and particularly so in the Q&A.

He studied traditional Islamic legal materials for thirteen years in Egypt and Kuwait, and then studied at Yale (B.A.), the University of Pennsylvania (J.D.) and Princeton (Ph.D.), and he knows something about shari‘a.

Ingrid Mattson, who is herself something of a specialist in Islamic law, also addressed the subject at various points.

(Incidentally, the conference was filmed. I'm not sure what they plan to do with the footage.)

I'll say this: I think that shari‘a has been demonized to a certain extent in the popular media. It's not a monolith, there are various schools and interpretations of it, and it's not intrinsically or even largely evil.

Thank you for the information and perspective. Hopefully there will be a video made from this.

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