Reflections on Religion and Politics in the Islamic World
21 Dec, 2007
Exploring the history of secularism in Muslims societies, it will be argued that in contrast to the West where secularism is broadly associated with progress, pluralism and democracy, the Muslim experience with secularism (with a few exceptions) has been the exact opposite. Understanding the roots of Muslim antipathy toward secularism is a necessary precondition to understanding the problems of political development facing Muslim societies and how struggles for democracy and human rights can proceed in the future.
Our speaker is Nader Hashemi (Visiting Assistant Professor, UCLA International Institute)
Nader Hashemi received his PhD from the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto in 2005. His research interests lie at the intersection of political theory and comparative politics of the developing world with a regional specialization in the Middle East and the Islamic World. Specific research areas include secularism and its discontents in Muslim societies, Western and modern Islamic political thought, religion-state relations, the politics of Islamic fundamentalism, and the history and development of liberal democracy. His writings have been published by Princeton University Press, McGill-Queen's University Press, Journal of Church and State, Third World Quarterly, Queen's Quarterly, Global Dialogue, Tikkun, The Nation, Chicago Tribune, The Daily Star (Beirut), The Globe and Mail, and the Toronto Star. He is the author of "Rethinking the Relationship between Religion, Secularism and Liberal Democracy: Toward a Democratic Theory for Muslim Societies" (New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming). He recently completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Political Science at Northwestern University and is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at the UCLA International Institute in Los Angeles.