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Does a Lack of Islamic Literacy Fuel Extremism? – Ebrahim Moosa

Complete video at: http://fora.tv/2010/04/20/The_Rise_of_Intellectual_Reform_in_Islam

Ebrahim Moosa, professor of Islamic Studies at Duke University, attributes the fundamentalism of extreme Islamists to a lack of literacy about Islamic law and tradition. He says very few resources are put into studying and understanding the historical context of Sharia, giving way to “demagoguery and rhetoric.”

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In a world increasingly governed by ideals of democracy and pluralism, this program explores both the evolution of religion and freedom in Islam — focusing on the recent rise of intellectual reform and the role of the religious intellectual — as well the debate surrounding these changes.

Featuring Baber Johansen, Professor of Islamic Religious Studies at Harvard Divinity School; Ebrahim Moosa, Associate Professor of Islamic Studies at Duke University; and Abdulkarim Soroush, philosopher, reformer, Rumi scholar, and former professor at the University of Tehran. Talal Asad, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the Graduate Center, moderates the discussion. – CUNY

Ebrahim E.I. Moosa is Associate Professor of Islamic Studies at Duke University. His interests span both classical and modern Islamic thought with a special focus on Islamic law, history, ethics, and theology. Moosa is the author of Ghazali and the Poetics of Imagination, winner of the American Academy of Religion’s Best First Book in the History of Religions (2006) and editor of the last manuscript of the late Professor Fazlur Rahman, Revival and Reform in Islam: A Study of Islamic Fundamentalism. He was named Carnegie Scholar in 2005 to pursue research on the madrasas, Islamic seminaries of South Asia.

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