Saturday, March 1, 2008

Harvard:Call for Papers


The 37th Annual Conference of the Association of
Muslim Social Scientists of North America (AMSS)
Crossing Boundaries: Mobilizing Faith, Diversity and Dialogue

Hosted by
The Harvard Divinity School
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA
October 24 – 26, 2008
Deadlines: Abstracts: May 15, 2008
Papers: September 30, 2008

While many consider religion to be a major source of violence in the world, many scholars and activists also argue that religions offer the profoundest sources for peacemaking and peacebuilding. This is because religion speaks to the soul, and thus can provide the faithful with powerful motivators to commit to peace. But due to its potential for exclusive claims to truth, mobilising religion for peacemaking purposes must be managed skilfully and wisely.

Interfaith dialogue and the embracing of diversity through the lenses of faith can be a formidable challenge, a feeling of "crossing boundaries." Such sentiments, incongruously, can also apply to intra-faith relations, that is, relations between different sects or orientations within a faith tradition. However, the act of "crossing boundaries," whether they be those of interfaith or those of intra-faith, can be the strategic points of demarcation for the release of energies for good and for evil. Mobilising religion for peacemaking is thus an urgent challenge facing humanity today, at both an inter-faith and intra-faith level.

The 37th Annual Conference of the Association of Muslim Social Scientists of North America aims to explore this topic in relation to Islam, Muslims and a globalised world. What are Islam’s resources for "crossing boundaries" and for cultivating faith, diversity and dialogue? How do Muslims view these concepts? Who are the activists working both for, and against, faith, diversity and dialogue?

To this end, papers are solicited from Muslims and non-Muslims that might speak to the following sub-themes:

• Theoretical Reflections on Inter- and Intra-faith Dialogue
• Studies of Relevant Muslim Intellectual Heritages
• Empirical Studies of Muslim Peacemaking Activists
• Case Studies of Inter- or Intra-faith Conflict or Conflict Resolution
• Hermeneutical Studies of the Qur’an in Relation to Faith, Diversity and Dialogue
• The Media’s Role in Mobilizing Dialogue on Faith and Diversity
• Politics of Religious Identity
• Religion and the Politics of Development and Humanitarian Aid
• The Role of Religion in Promoting World Peace
• The Politics of Cultural Boundaries: Assimilation, Integration & Resistance
• The Impact of War and Conflict on Women’s Role in Society
• Women as Soldiers
• The Role of Women in Peacebuilding Efforts
• Women as Refugees

Abstracts (250 words) are due by May 15, 2008. Abstracts will be evaluated according to the following categories: originality of theme, clear methodology, clarity and relevance of the proposal to the conference theme, and sound academic scholarship. Accepted proposals will be announced within 30 days. Final papers must be submitted by September 30, 2008 to be included in the conference program. If completed papers are not in by the due date, they will not be included in the conference.

Program Co-Chairs:
Dr. Louis J. Cantori (University of Maryland, Baltimore County, USA) and
Dr. Katherine Bullock (University of Toronto, Canada)
Send abstracts and papers to Conference Coordinator Ms. Layla Sein at
For more details about AMSS and conference updates, visit

Jasmin Zine, Ph.D
Assistant Professor
Department of Sociology
Wilfrid Laurier University
75 University Ave. West
Waterloo, ON
N2L 3C5

519-884-0710 x3267

"Come on, deny your Ego. Get united with everybody. So long as you remain in yourself, you are a particle. But if you get united with everybody, you are a mine, an ocean. Believe that all spirits are One! And all bodies are One! Just like almonds in quantity hundred thousands; but there is the same oil in all of them.There are many languages in the world, in meaning all are the same. If you break the cups, water will be unified and will flow together."


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quraan burning

Planned Muslim Response to Qur'an Burning by Pastor Jones on September 11 in Mulberry, Florida

August 19, 2013| Dallas, Texas

Mike Ghouse
Text/Talk: (214) 325-1916

Mirza A Beg
(205) 454-8797


We as Muslims plan to respond to pastor Terry Jones' planned burning of 3000 copies of Quran on September 11, 2013 in positive terms.

Our response - we will reclaim the standard of behavior practiced by the Prophet concerning “scurrilous and hostile criticism of the Qur’an” (Muhammad Asad Translation Note 31, verse 41:34). It was "To overcome evil with good is good, and to resist evil by evil is evil." It is also strongly enjoined in the Qur’an in the same verse 41:34, “Good and evil deeds are not equal. Repel evil with what is better; then you will see that one who was once your enemy has become your dearest friend.”

God willing Muslims will follow the divine guidance and pray for the restoration of Goodwill, and on that day many Muslim organizations will go on a “blood drive” to save lives and serve humanity with kindness.

We invite fellow Americans of all faiths, races, and ethnicities to join us to rededicate the pledge, “One nation under God”, and to build a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of fellow Americans. This event is a substitute for our 10th Annual Unity Day Celebration ( held in Dallas, but now it will be at Mulberry, Florida.

Unwittingly Pastor Jones has done us a favor by invigorating us by his decision to burn nearly 3000 copies Quran on September 11, 2013. Obviously he is not satisfied by the notoriety he garnered by burning one Qur'an last year.

As Muslims and citizens we honor the free speech guaranteed in our constitution. We have no intentions to criticize, condemn or oppose Pastor Terry Jones' freedom of expression. Instead, we will be donating blood and praying for goodness to permeate in our society.

We plan to follow Jesus Christ (pbuh), a revered prophet in Islam as well as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – that of mitigating the conflicts and nurturing good will for the common good of the society.

We hope, this event and the message will remind Muslims elsewhere in the world as well, that violence is not the way. Muslims, who react violently to senseless provocation, should realize that, violence causes more violence, and besmirches the name of the religion that we hold so dear. We believe that Prophet Muhammad was a mercy to the mankind, and we ought to practice what we believe and preach. We must not insult Islam by the negative reactions of a few.

We can only hope it will bring about a change in the attitude of the followers of Pastor Jones, and in the behavior of those Muslims who reacted violently the last time Pastor sought notoriety – We hope this small step towards a bridge to peaceful coexistence would propel us towards building a cohesive society.

Like most Americans a majority of Muslims quietly go about their own business, but it is time to speak up and take positive action instead of negative reaction. May this message of peace and goodwill reverberate and reach many shores.

Lastly, we appreciate the Citizens of Mulberry, Florida, Honorable Mayor George Hatch, City Commissioners, police and Fire Chiefs for handing this situation very well. This will add a ‘feather of peace’ in the City’s reputation. We hope Mulberry will be a catalyst in showing the way in handling conflict with dignity and peace.

We thank the Media for giving value to the work towards peace rather than conflict.


Thank you.


The people in Dallas are making an effort to understand and clean their own hearts first, when we are free from bias, it would be easy to share that with others. Islam teaches us in so many ways to "respect the otherness of others" and it is time we find simple practical ways of doing it.