Texte intégral

The time for an international gathering of Muslim social scientists is at present a necessity. Global political upheavals have created an insatiable demand for studies, information and analysis of Islam and Muslims. The Muslim social scientist is not only being asked to be academic, objective and dispassionate about critical issues related to the Muslim experience, faith, culture and philosophy, but is also being called upon to "represent" a community misrepresented in monolithic terms. The inherent diversity of the Muslim experience across regional, national, ethnic, theological and social divides defies the  homogenising logic of mass media, popular culture, and governmental politics. The events of 9/11 in the US and 7/7 in the UK have created within circles of Muslim social scientists, especially in North America and Europe, an opportunity for research to explore the Muslim experience in multi-disciplinary and cross-disciplinary ways. We need now to create overlapping, synergistic discourse that will both examine the Muslim experience, and provide the necessary research, analysis and understanding to those who wish to enact social change. Social scientists must be acutely aware of the role they play in the future development of Muslim communities in the West and beyond. In this conference, we will begin to build a network of and importance of such research.

The notion of citizenship and security as they relate to democracy and freedom lie at the heart of discourses centred around the presence of significant Muslim communities in the West. In addressing these themes, we will consider these terms in their broadest way. The issue of 'citizenship' can represent a confluence of identities-legal, political, social, religious and spiritual. 'Security', in comparison, has legislative, policy, political, economic, theological and social implications, but can also be used to examine human rights, trust relations, community cohesion, social exclusion, and marginalization. The new critical tendencies on the capacity of 'democracy' to safeguard the human rights of minorities and collective identities give us a framework for understanding and gauging the status of a pluralistic cultural identity. Further, if anything, the presence of significant Muslim minorities and the emergence of new Islamic discourses regarding modernity have begun to challenge the restrictive and exclusive notions of culture. We need to question 'for whom' these rights are.

Muslim social scientists need, therefore, to develop evidence-based and policy-oriented research that delineates and represents issues of concern to Muslims in current social and foreign policies. This conference then, welcomes papers that are forward-looking and provide the basis for conceptual, critical and strategic thinking for the future.

Turkey is an ideal location to host this conference. Sitting along the presumed 'fault-line' between 'East and West', 'Christendom and Islam' and given its unique status as the only Muslim-majority country being able to make a case for inclusion in Europe, Turkey's internal and external struggles will provide a challenging and creative locus and a significant historical backdrop for a conference of Muslim social scientists.

Papers are invited along the following themes:

1) Citizenship: New Paradigms and Challenges

. Challenges of plural citizenship.

. Status of minorities in multicultural societies in a transnational world.

. Transnational Muslim organisations

. Political participation of Muslims in Europe and USA

. Muslim women citizenship, empowerment, and discrimination.

. From tolerance to recognition: The processes of integration within the integrity of collective identities.

. Faith and secularism.

. Muslim youth: Experiences, realities and challenges.

. Islamic ethics across multiple cultures in a global environment.

. European models of unity: cultural and political challenges.

. Turkey's cultural identity and EU membership.

2) Security, Violence and Peace :

. Security, Integration and Muslim minorities.

. Alternatives to violence: Dissent in civil society.

. Communities' conflict and coexistence.

. Security and Islamophobia.

. Terrorism and extremism in Muslim societies.

. Violence : transnational and national.

. State violence and urban violence

. Islamophobia in the Muslim World?

. Intercultural and interfaith dialogue and the future of peace.

. The Muslim world and the West: New paradigms of communication based  on mutual respect and human peace.

3) Democracy, democratisation: Prospects for Civil Society :

. Unity without unification in future cross-cultural society.

. Models for peace in fundamental texts of faiths and cultures.

. Muslim scholars in the West: prospects for renewal and mediation.

. Imagining a Europe with Turkey.

. Revival and reform in a fragmented Muslim world

. Europe and the Middle East: Historical and strategic issues.

. The Nation-state and its Future.

. The experience (s) of democracy in Muslim countries.

. Democracy and democratisation : Imposition or persuasion?

Abstracts :

February 1st 2006


June 15th 2006

Submission of abstracts (150 words) to be sent to:

From Turkey: setavtr@gmail.com

From the Arab World: confamss@yahoo.com

From North and South America: conferences@amss.net

From Europe and the Rest of the World: csd@amssuk.com  

Please supply a short biographical profile (150 words) with your abstract in English and Turkish to :

Kamran A. Bokhari

AMSS (USA) Liaison.