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Critical Currents in Islam Media Roundup (Aug-Sept)

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[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating about Islam and reflects a wide variety of opinions and approaches. It does not reflect the views of the Critical Currents in Islam page or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to by Saturday night of every week.]

Arts & Culture

The Magical Headspace of Muslim Artist Noor al-Mosawi
Toronto based photographer, Noor al-Mosawi, turns the camera in on herself in a series of self portraits that explore topics of self-care and stability in a world of rapid change. 

“I still think in Arabic and write, speak in Turkish”
Today’s Zaman columnist, author and Qur’an translator, Ali Bulaç, reflects on his childhood in Mardin, Turkey, and the deep relations between Muslims and Christians, as well as the political events that left a mark on his work.  

Science & Scholarship

Oldest Qurans republished in print and digital formats
Research Center for Islamic History, Arts, and Culture (IRCICA) publishes facsimiles of some of the oldest Qurans for the first time. Publications are both in print and digital.

Could this Quran fragment really be older than Muhammad?
Carbon dating on “world’s oldest Qur’an” held in Birmingham, England suggests that it might predate the prophet Muhammad. The dating suggests a date between 568 CE and 645 CE, while the prophet is said to have lived between 570 CE and 632 CE.

Muslim Leaders Call for Climate Change Action
Muslim Scholars from more than 20 countries gathered together in Istanbul to call for a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions.

Rethinking Muslim (Political) Theologies

An Extraordinary Scholar Redefined Islam
Noah Feldman remembers the incredible career of Shahab Ahmed (1967-2015), professor of Islamic Studies at Harvard University, through a discussion of Ahmed’s soon to be published work, “What is Islam?”.

My madrassa classmate hated politics. Then he joined the Islamic State.
Professor Ebrahim Moosa of Notre Dame reflects on his time spent at the Deoband seminary in India, the political-theological stakes of interpretation, and the need for “humane alternative” to groups like ISIS.

ISIS Enshrines a Theology of Rape
Interrogating ISIS’s practice of sex slavery, Rukmini Callamachi gives first-hand accounts of Yazidi women in sex slavery in the Islamic State and the practices of theological legitimation that ISIS uses to sustain them.

The Truth About Islam and Sex Slavery History Is More Complicated Than You Think
Professor Kecia Ali of Boston University writes in response to debates about ISIS’s so called “theology of rape” by interrogating the way Muslim scholars have negotiated this issue over time, suggesting there is complex relationship between “canonical texts” and human behavior.

Sisi left without a prayer in Egyptian mosques
Prayers for the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi have been prohibited by the Egyptian Ministry of Religious Endowments in what looks like an attempt to discredit Sisi’s legitimacy.

The Politics of Minority/Majority Relations

Ahmed Mohamed, Liberal Rhetoric and Obama Administration Propaganda
Obama’s words of support for Ahmed stand in sharp contrast to the violence that his administration has unleashed on brown and black and Muslim and poor people domestically and abroad

Coptic Church unhappy Egyptian Christians are joining Salafist-linked party Some Egyptian Copts have started joining the Nour Party against the wishes of Pope Tawadros II of the Coptic Orthodox Church. This has produced tensions on both sides concerning the Nour Party’s political and religious project.

Kuwait's Sunnis question fellow Shiites' loyalties Situation grows more tense as some Kuwaitis blame parliamentarian Abdul Hamid Dashti’s visit to Lebanon in order to accept condolences after the June 26 As-Sadiq Mosque bombing as reason for increase in sectarian rhetoric.

One year later, struggle continues for Yazidis
In Iraq, Yazidis remained internally displaced due to ISIS oppression, with many fleeing Iraq and heading toward Europe.

Ben Carson says no Muslim should ever become president
GOP Presidential candidate states that he does not think that a Muslim should be allowed to become President of the United States. Carson’s statements have provoked condemnation as well as support from concerned voters. 

Islam is just as European as Christianity
Haroon Moghul speaks out against what many European conservatives have marked as an intrusion of Muslims into Europe. Attempting to overcome this mischaracterization and Islamophobia, Moghul points to a deeply rooted history of Muslim presence in European life as Europeans.

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