Two-day Course: Understanding Political Islam

A two-day specialist course organised by British Muslim Initiative and supported by Al Jazeera Centre for Studies, Conflicts Forum, Demos, Forward Thinking and The Cordoba Foundation.

Venue: Olympia Conference Centre
Date: 12-13 July 2008

As recognized or unrecognized oppositions, parties in coalition governments or fully in power, or active players in civil society, Islamists have risen to prominence in the last two decades across much of the Muslim world. Today, Islamism is an undeniable fact of the political and cultural life of most Muslim countries in Asia and Africa, and even among Muslim minorities in Europe and the United States.

Although much attention has been directed to the violent and radical forms of Islamism -particularly since the 9/11 terrorist attacks-, its more peaceful, mainstream manifestations continue to be largely overlooked. Indeed, few topics seem to attract more interest than political Islam today. But a cursory look at the majority of what gets said and written reveals a disturbing dearth of objective and accurate understanding of the subject and a worrying pattern of generalization, and oversimplification. Apart from a few honourable exceptions, authors seem to confine themselves to repeating and recycling the same flawed material, with little effort to grasp this socio-political phenomenon and comprehend its complexities.

The British Muslim Initiative is organising a two-day specialist conference on Understanding Political Islam, to take place on 12-13 July 2008 in London, supported by the renowned think tanks the Al Jazeera Centre for Studies, Conflicts Forum, Demos, Forward Thinking and The Cordoba Foundation.

The conference will bring together some of the world’s leading experts on Islam and Islamism and a number of prominent intellectual and political figures, along with a host of researchers, journalists, and academics. It will be held as an invitation or registration-only event at Islam Expo, the largest Muslim cultural event in Europe. The aim is to open the way for a transparent and challenging discussion of a complex phenomenon which has been the subject of much attention but insufficiently objective and sophisticated analysis.

Please visit the IslamExpo web site for more information.

One Comment

  1. alan reilly wrote:

    I only wish i was there to attend. Looks very interesting indeed. Sounds like something that could really open up the current public ‘debate’ on political Islam.

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