There seems to be a smartphone app for everything these days — social media, weather forecasts and even an app that shows the exact direction of Mecca. And that’s just one of the many apps that are made specifically for Muslims.Continue reading
Guest Column by Kemal Kirişci. Kirişci will give Friday’s Morning Lecture in the Amphitheater at 10:45 a.m.
As the Arab Spring spread from Tunisia to the rest of the Middle East early in 2011, the longtime opposition figure Rashid al-Gannouchi, also the co-founder and leader of Tunisia’s an-Nahda party, was among the many leaders who pointed to Justice and Development Party (AKP)-led Turkey as a model for guiding the transformation of the Middle East. Gannouchi maintained close relations with AKP and its leadership, which later became closely involved in Tunisia’s transformation efforts. Yet, after a May 2013 talk on “Tunisia’s Democratic Future” at The Brookings Institution, Gannouchi’s response to a question asking him which countries he thought constituted a model for Tunisia was striking because he did not mention Turkey. It is probably not a coincidence that he responded the way he did because the news about the harsh police response to the initial stages of the anti-government protests in Turkey was just breaking out. Subsequently, in an interview he gave to Jackson Diehl of The Washington Post early in June, he also took a critical view of both Mohammed Morsi and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for their majoritarian understanding of democracy, a view that he said an-Nahda renounces. So what happened to Turkey’s model credentials? What might have led Gannouchi to change his views so dramatically? Are there any prospects for Turkey to reclaim these credentials?Continue reading
Three days after the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001, Dalia Mogahed and her husband were contemplating whether or not to go to Friday evening services. Unsure of what, or who, would be waiting for them, they entered the mosque.
But instead of finding an angry mob or anti-Muslim protestors, the mosque was packed full of non-Islamic Americans who were there to support the Muslim place of worship.
Mogahed, the former executive director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies and current CEO of Mogahed Consulting, delivered Wednesday’s morning lecture at 10:45 a.m. in the Amphitheater. In keeping with the week’s theme, she discussed how the Arab Spring can inspire the next generation to empower themselves.Continue reading
There are those who think that science and religion cannot coexist. Jennifer Wiseman has set out to prove that they can.
Wiseman, the director of the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion told Friday morning’s Amphitheater audience that the marvels of space exploration do not necessarily disprove the existence of a higher power.
“The heavens have inspired humanity, as long as we have been recording history,” Wiseman said. “People have wondered, ‘Why do we have a sense of right and wrong? Where does that come from? What is our purpose? How should we live our lives?’ ”Continue reading
On Thursday, Sayyid M. Syeed continued the Week Seven Interfaith Lecture theme, “Creating Cultures of Honor and Integrity,” as he discussed the history, growth and optimism of an expanding Islamic community in North America. His lecture was titled “Islamic Experience in a Pluralist Democracy: Building a New Muslim Identity and Institutions in America.”
“What I am going to talk about is a new opportunity, a new millennium for humanity where those two religions are going to create a new reality of cooperation and understanding that is here in this country,” Syeed said.
That community is possible in the United States, because 250 years ago, the Founding Fathers committed to freedom of religion. Though it has taken some time for their goal to come to fruition, the society has gradually realized the interfaith vision the Founding Fathers had for the U.S., Syeed said.Continue reading
Last Thursday, as the rains showered from the sky onto the grounds at Chautauqua, a group of about 30 people warmed the cool night air with conversation and camaraderie as they tucked into a potluck feast on the Alumni Hall porch.
The event, a pre-Ramadan dinner sponsored by the Abrahamic Program for Young Adults, was facilitated by the organization’s coordinators but included participants from all walks of life. The tables, overflowing with samosas, hummus, quinoa, lasagna, macaroni and chocolate cake, reflected the multicultural nature of the dinner’s guests.
The coordinators called the event an Iftar, referring to the meal Muslims have after sunset to break their fast during the month of Ramadan. In the Muslim religion, Ramadan is a month of inner reflection and devotion that includes fasting — abstaining from food, drink and sex — from sunrise to sunset.Continue reading