The Lubar Institute for the Study of the Abrahamic Religions closed in June 2016. This web site will not be updated, and remains online as part of the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s public archive.
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Roundtable discussion:
The Jihad of Meaning:
Islam’s Struggle with Islamic Extremism

Thursday, April 9, 2015
7:00 pm to 8:30 pm

Gordon Commons | Concerto Room
770 W. Dayton St.
University of Wisconsin–Madison

poster for "The Jihad of Meaning"
click to download poster PDF

ISIS. Boko Haram. Al-Qaeda. Stories about radical Islamists fill the news.

Focusing on their violence and their claims of recovering the “true” Islam misses a larger point: the symptoms of a bigger jihad (struggle) within Islam over ijtihad (the qualified religious reasoning of a legal problem or development).

Muslims have disagreed for 1400 years over what constitutes Islam and what makes a real Muslim.

Historically, how have Muslims dealt with internal differences over external challenges? What do we make of the fact that media portrayal of Islam is identified predominantly with violence, extremism and anarchy?

This roundtable discussion will open the role that religious interpretation plays in Islam, situate radical Islamism within this wider framework, suggest directions that these intra-religious conflicts may take in the future; and invite the audience to share their thoughts.

Prof. Michael Chamberlain, UW–Madison Department of History

Prof. Asifa Quraishi-Landes, UW–Madison School of Law

Imam Hamza Maqbul, Muslim Association of Greater Rockford (Illinois)

moderator: Prof. Charles L. Cohen, E. Gordon Fox Professor of American Institutions, UW–Madison Department of History and Director, Lubar Institute