MLT – The New Cordoba

New Cordoba

1. Reza Aslan

a. Daisy quotes from former CEO of HPs comments on Islam after 9/11 as set-up for Cordoba

b. PPT presented as written by Shafique Walji (staff volunteer)

c. Challenge master narrative of what went wrong

i. Islam achieved something great and then went into steady decline

d. Introduce Cordoba to get to the discussion

i. Basic history of Islamic expansion

ii. Expansion of knowledge, and development of institutions of learning

iii. Reasons for decline from zenith

1. Seljuq advancement

2. Mongol invasion

3. Advancement of European pardigm

iv. Cultural renaissance with Ottomans, Safavids, and Mughals, but less knowledge dominance

e. Turning to panelists

i. Imam Faisal Abdur-Rauf

1. Why this precipitous decline in Islamic advancement?

2. Answer

a. Lack of seeking knowledge [much longer answer, but I’m paraphrasing]

ii. Alistair MacDonald of Radcliffe

1. Imam Faisal spoke of knowledge transfer; parallel to Christianty up until Reformation

2. Answer

a. Dealing with specificity of what is unique to religious community and negotiating with rest of the world

b. Needs a combination of politics and religion to reach extreme situations

c. Need to work on deep pluralism not shallow pluralism

iii. Imam Faisal

1. Impact of colonialism, and reason for Muslims to feel they have lost, how to deal with issues of modernists who blame the ulema (religious leadership). Where is the renaissance? In the ulema, in the laity, in a combination?

2. Answer

a. Need to Islamize our thinking

b. Deep pluralism was heritage of Muslim thinking

i. Defined essential Islamic orthodoxy

1. 5 things in creed

a. tawhid

b. nabuwwah

c. revelation

d. angels

e. day of judgement

2. then you need to have 5 pillars

c. we have divested from Islamic learning

iv. Q&A

1. Need to recognize the tension between freedom of thought and limiting of thought, have to make Muslims human

2. Not about Muslim civilization, but about human civilization

3. How do we integrate when we put up wall about people learning about us, but we are not willing to learn about others?

a. Alistair

i. What is the point of being religious if you don’t want to make unique point about what you know?

ii. Difference between ecumenism (visible unity) and inter-faith (better relations, but no unity)

4. What role does institutionalize religion play in our modern world?

a. Faisal

i. Horizontal dimension and vertical dimension in Islam

1. Multiple ways of reaching God (Qur’anic)

2. Term Muslim was not used for Muslims for several centuries, momin was the term in Qur’an and in practice

b. Reza

i. Need to differentiate between faith and religion

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