‘So, you are Pakistani?’ Almost every day, when I meet Turks for the first time, I am asked ‘where are you from?’ Almost without fail, the conclusion is reached before I can say anything. Even though I was born in Britain, and have spent less than ten months of my entire life in Pakistan, I agree for simplicity’s sake. But there is another more significant reason: Turkey is one of the few places in the world where being a Pakistani is celebrated.
Jeremy Henzell-Thomas seeks an integrated approach to education and knowledge, Richard Pring answers the question – what is a university, Marodsilton Muborakshoeva examines the university in Muslim context, Abdelwahab El-Affendi thinks we need to reconfigure Islamic education, Abdulkader Tayob is convinced that
I have probably dedicated more time and energy to researching and teaching the topic of Islamophobia than any other academic in Norway, yet I cannot quite recall where and when I first encountered the term. It would be a fair assumption that the first time I came across it was back in 2009 when I hosted a visit from an American academic. I was launching a series of public lectures in anthropology at the then recently established House of Literature in Oslo.
An openly racist party with deep roots in France’s fascist tradition, the Front National, won control of a dozen local authorities, in March 2014. Two months later it gained more seats than any other party in the European elections with a quarter of the vote. Some opinion polls in 2014 even identified its leader, Marine Le Pen, as the figure most likely to win the first round of the 2017 presidential election. Le Pen has vowed to put mosques under surveillance, tap the phones of ‘proselytisers’ and ban ‘ostentatious’ religious symbols from all public services.
Abu Rayhan Muhammad ibn Ahmad Al-Biruni liked school. No, he loved school.The challenge to read and recite, to count and to calculate was fun, but the real sport was to contest the ideas of others, to engage their motives and call into question their goals. A Muslim, he was also a Persian. And the Persian gene – some would call it ‘genius’ – was to argue, to debate, to advance through active exchange with the ideas of thoughtful others. Not everyone in his community was born thoughtful. Some never went to school.