Prof. Ismail R. al Faruqi

Professor Ismail Raji al Faruqi (1921-1986) was a co-founder of International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) and Association of Muslim Social Scientists (AMSS). Born in Jaffa, Palestine, he completed his undergraduate education from the American University in Beirut. He eventually relocated to the United States where he pursued graduate studies in philosophy. Prof. al Faruqi studied Islam at al Azhar University, Cairo, from 1954 to 1958. In 1968, he joined Temple University’s newly established Department of Religion and founded the Islamic Studies program there. In addition, in 1973, Prof. al Faruqi initiated the Islam section at the American Academy of Religion (AAR). He was also the President of the American Islamic College in Chicago.

His own intellectual and faith journey is apparent from his famous quote: “Until a few months ago, I was a Palestinian, an Arab, and a Muslim. Now I am a Muslim who happens to be an Arab from Palestine.”

Prof. al Faruqi was an exceptional scholar of Islam and comparative religions who was trained at Indiana University, Harvard University, and McGill University. He was among the pioneers who represented Islam in interreligious dialogue when this movement was just beginning. Indeed, he was a scholar who engaged with not only the history of religion but also the challenges religion, especially Islam, faced in contemporary times. Prof. al Faruqi authored, with his wife Dr. Lamya al Faruqi – a distinguished scholar of Islamic art – the seminal work titled The Cultural Atlas of Islam. His many publications include Christian Ethics: A Historical and Systematic Analysis of its Dominant Ideas (McGill University Press, 1967) and Al Tawhid: Its Implications for Thought and Life (IIIT, 1982).

He was – and still is seen as – a brilliant intellectual, whose legacy of reform and scholastic efforts still reverberate today and will continue to do so. May God have mercy on him. Ameen.


Dr. Hadia Mubarak

Dr. Hadia Mubarak is an Assistant Professor of Religion at Queens University of Charlotte. She previously served as Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Guilford College and as a Research Fellow at New York University-Abu Dhabi (NYUAD). Her new book, Rebellious Wives, Neglectful Husbands: Controversies in Modern Qurʾanic Commentaries (Oxford University Press, 2022), explores significant shifts in modern Qurʾanic commentaries on the subject of women against the backdrop of broader historical, intellectual and political developments in twentieth-century North Africa. Mubarak completed her Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from Georgetown University, where she specialized in modern and classical Qurʾanic exegesis, Islamic feminism, and gender reform in the modern Muslim world. She currently serves as a scholar-in-residence with the Muslim Community Center of Charlotte (MCC), a board member of Carleton Centre for the Study of Islam, and a scholar fellow with the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU).

Prof. Deina Abdelkader

Prof. Deina Abdelkader is an international relations expert who focuses on Islamic activism and the politics, religion, and culture of the Middle East and North Africa. Her specialization is comparative democratization in the Muslim world. As an associate professor of political science at UMass Lowell, Abdelkader teaches classes in Islam and Politics and Legal Thought, Middle East and North African Politics, and Women in Islam. She currently directs the Peace and Conflict Program at her home institution.

She is one of the co-founders of Cohort for the Study of Islam and International Relations (COIRIS), an international research cohort established in 2013, Rapallo, Italy, of which she is a Co-Director too. She is also Co-Editor-in-Chief of International Journal of Islam in Asia (Brill), and Co-Editor-in-Chief of a book series with Palgrave Publishing: “Islam and Global Studies.”

Abdelkader has published Islamic Activists: The Anti-Enlightenment Democrats (2011), Modernity and the Principle of Public Welfare (2003), and Social Justice in Islam (2000). She also co-edited and contributed to Islam and International Relations (2016) and Islam in International Affairs: Politics and Paradigms (2018).


Knowledge and Power: Hegemonic Research Methods and The Neo-Orientalist Discourse

The distinction between normative and objective knowledge and how social scientists imagine that their research is solely built on objectivity is currently being challenged, especially in the political science field. If we take culture as an example and more specifically the question of identity and identity politics in the Muslim world, we will find that the current modus operandi in political science research is distancing itself from objective knowledge because of the increased focus in the field on quantification. This presentation will analyze the effect of research methodology on power in academic research and the effects of neo-Orientalism on studying and researching the Muslim World, an effort that was initiated by Dr. Ismail al Faruqi, followed by Dr. Taha Jaber al Alwani and Dr. Mona Abul-Fadl.