AMEC conference to focus on Political Islam

Hamas’s Usamah Hamdan to be keynote speaker

After the uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa region, Political Islam took centre stage in many respects, as numerous actors in the region claimed their Islam as the inspiration or basis of their political activity. This manifested during various elections, coups, and civil wars. Perhaps the most recent of these has been the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, which seeks to undo the post-Ottoman Sykes-Picot architecture of the MENA region.

These developments over the past four years have resulted in the MENA region, and the Muslim world more generally, experiencing a profound conceptual rethinking, including a re-evaluation of notions of global ethics, citizenship and democracy, capitalism and economic development, imperialism, and liberation.

 

More on the conference

Concept Note

Programme

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Developments over the past four years have resulted in the MENA region, and the Muslim world more generally, experiencing a profound conceptual rethinking, including a re-evaluation of notions of global ethics, citizenship and democracy, capitalism and economic development, imperialism, and liberation.

At the heart of much of this rethinking (and attempts to prevent rethinking) have been various models of political Islam. The phenomenon has also been central to the continuing unfolding of events in the region and despite setbacks in certain respects – such as the coup in Egypt, Political Islam will continue to be influential in any reshaping of the MENA region, affecting developments not only in those countries and among those actors that blatantly experienced or participated in the 2011 uprisings, but also others, such as the those involved in the Palestinian struggle.

The next conference of the Afro-Middle East Centre (AMEC) – from 19 to 21 January in Pretoria – will harness the contributions of a diverse group of scholars to deliberate and debate some of these profound changes, with Political Islam as the central focus. Speakers include: Abdulkader Tayob, Abdullahi Gallab, Ashur Shamis, Azzam Tamimi, David Commins, Farid Esack, Hamid Bobboyi, Husnul Amin, Jocelyn Cesari, Joseph Alagha, Khaled Hroub, Larbi Sadiki, Nura Hossainzadeh, Salman Sayyid, Stig Hansen, Stephane Lacroix, Usamah Hamdan.

Departing from the usual tendency of conceptualising ‘Political Islam’ as a phenomenon that describes Islamic ideological groups that are social movements or political opposition groups, the conference will discuss Political Islam as various forms of Islamic legitimation of state power or political action. It will discuss not only Muslim political actors such as the Muslim Brotherhood, but also the ways in which ruling regimes – in Saudi Arabia, Iran and elsewhere – or proto-regimes such as the Islamic State group, mobilise Islam for their political thought and action. The conference will examine how various Muslim political actors understand their relationship to the issue of political power, and how they use Islam to legitimate this relationship.

Date: Evening of 19 January, full days 20 and 21 January 2015

Venue: Sheraton Pretoria Hotel

For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call +27 11 880-0525

If you will attend, you must register online.

Last modified on Thursday, 19 February 2015 16:38

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