Reading Session on What Went Wrong with Muslim Societies
Date: Friday, 15th December 2017
Time: 7PM – 10PM
Venue: Graha Pemuda, Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur
Colonialism in the Islamic world has left a detrimental legacy that Muslims are still struggling to overcome. The two most corrosive aspects of this legacy has been on debates surrounding the construction of Muslim identity and in the realm of intellectual thought. These problems are directly related to the imbalance in power relations between the West and the Islamic world, which Muslims are acutely aware of today. As a result, some Muslims have become obsessed with trying to remedy a collective sense of powerlessness and political defeat by engaging in highly symbolic and sensationalistic acts of power symbolism. In the area of ideas, a modern discourse of apologetics has developed. This has created a fertile ground for the rise and expansion of puritanical interpretations of Islam. In this lecture, these themes will be examined by drawing upon Khaled Abou El Fadl’s recent book, Reasoning with God: Reclaiming the Sharia for the Modern Age. The key question that will be explored is: how has the legacy of colonialism contributed to the rise of extremist interpretations of Islam during the postcolonial ear? Participants are asked to do the assigned reading before participating in this event.