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    • Speakers for conferences on Islamic issues in Europe
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SEMINARS

European Muslims : Between Text and context

Introduction

Starting from the elaboration of an Islamic discourse founded upon shared Universal values, European Muslims have built their Muslim identity, born from the encounter between the religion of Islam and the European idea of a modern social contract. Thus, a new, contextualized approach to the Muslim heritage is crucial in the evolving process of identification and in the context of the challenges of our time.

The European Muslim Network calls upon Muslims to realize their responsibility and participate in the construction of a European Islam, that is modern, defiant, reflective and self-conscious, for the benefit of the European societies at large and in the interest of the Muslim communities in Europe in particular.

Context

There’s a growing global movement of women and men who are re-reading the Islamic Texts and who are engaged in re-dynamizing Islamic Thought within the Islamic tradition. The centrality of the European Muslim presence issue to the larger question of whether or not Islam fits into European norms puts the relationship to the Text at the centre of attention.

A few years ago, Tariq Ramadan, president of the European Muslim Network, started the discussion promoting a renewal of the Islamic thought going through a reconciliation of the spiritual dimension with a critical and rational rereading of the scriptural Sources and the Islamic law.

In his book « Radical Reform: Islamic ethics and liberation » , he analyses the historicity of the concept of « Reform » in the Contemporary Islamic thought. He proposes the foundations of a reform, which may transform the world from different case studies. According to him, we are facing a « Fiqh reform adaptation » in the way we deal with the Text. Nonetheless, it reaches its limitations because of new questions which are more and more complex.

Prof.Ramadan proposes to bring together the « Scholar of the Text » and the « Scholar of the context » to start on this Radical Reform, envisioning a way for Muslims to be modern and faithful to the Islamic principles.

Regarding this insightful proposasl, EMN envisions a serie of workshops to be a space for activist and intellectual exchange and co-operation on issues related to the theoretical and practical aspects of this  » Radical Reform  » to think the  » Practical Reform « .

The workshop consists of three thematic sessions, centred around the case studies from Prof. Ramadan’s book, its translation into practice.

Each of this session features 3 presentations. The first takes the form of an introduction, followed by 2 presentations of a « scholar of the Text » and a « scholar of the context », and a discussion among the whole group of participants.

    • Islamic ethic and medical sciences
    • Islam and gender
    • Islamic finance

Three focal points define those workshops :

  • We are convinced that any reflection and promotion of the Radical Reform has to include women and men, Muslims and non Muslims( schlolars, activists …)
  • We envision the workshops to cover as many of the questions and debate Muslims are currently facing as possible according to the topic of the workshop.
  • We believe that discussion should involve intellectuals as well as activists, or scholar-cum-activists, as their different perspectives are able to complement each other.
  • We hope to achieve a more realistic view of the possibilities and limitations of a Radical Reform : where are the overlaps, where is the minimum consensus and where are the frictions and the tensions among theologians, thinkers, scientists and activists ? How bridging the  » Radical Reform  » to the  » Practical Reform  » ?

Mission

Those seminars aspire to become an important platform of ideas who share common concerns and commitments related to the contextual approach of the scriptural Sources regarding the European Muslim presence at the Globalization era.

We aim at encouraging participants at exchanging ideas and think collectively about a range of related topics central to the Muslim presence in the contemporary societies with participants from different background.

Those seminars may be published, and in conclusion we may issue questions which meet the need of European Muslims and formulate suggestions and proposals in an innovative and creative way to the « Scholar of the Text » (European Council of Fatwa and research or others).
Target audience

Muslim and non-muslims activists, scholars – cum – activists, students, academicians.

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Download Brussels seminars 2011