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Conference: “Sources of Pluralism in Islamic Thought”, 9-11 July, 2018 in Casablanca

Casablanca Seminars International Conference, 9-11 July, 2018

As a global religion, Islam and its jurisprudence have offered heterogeneous responses to a range of questions facing different faiths and communities. Modernity imposed new questions upon religious scholars, theologians and philosophers, demanding of them a new version of pluralism in the theological and political arenas. While doctrinal or philosophical exclusivism rejects “the other” in theory — and frequently in practice, too — inclusivism connotes the accommodation and toleration of difference. But if that means the reluctant acceptance of difference within a hierarchy of worldviews, inclusion may not be enough to create more egalitarianism within modern multicultural societies. Modern pluralism might come to mean, instead, a robust appreciation of human diversity and values.

Reset Dialogues in partnership with the King Abdul-Aziz Al Saoud Foundation for Islamic Studies and Human Sciences and the Granada Institute for Higher Education and Research are pleased to present this international symposium that was made possible also thanks to the support of Henry Luce Foundation’s Initiative on Religion in International Affairs, Nomis Foundation and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Conference Program

Monday, July 9

2.30-3.00 PM: Registration and Welcome coffee

3.00-3.30 PM: Welcome Session

  • Ahmed Toufiq, Director, King Abdul-Aziz Al Saoud Foundation for Islamic Studies and Human Sciences, Casablanca
  • Giancarlo Bosetti, Director, Reset DOC
  • Mohammed Bensalah, Director, Granada Institute

3.30-3.45 PM: Conference Introduction: On Pluralism and the Islamic Traditions

  • Mohammed Hashas, LUISS University, Rome

3.45-5.15 PM : Session 1 – Pluralism in the Quran and the Prophetic Tradition

Panel 1

  • Asma Afsaruddin (Indiana University), Valorizing Religious Dialogue and Pluralism within the Islamic Tradition
  • Mohsen Kadivar (Duke University), Genealogies of Pluralism in Islamic Thought: Shia Perspective
  • Shabbir Akhtar (Oxford University), Reading the Rival’s Scripture in the Open Society: Western Christians and the Quran
  • Chair: Fouad Ben Ahmed (Dar el-Hadith el-Hassania Institute for Higher Islamic Studies EDHH, Rabat)

5.15-5.30 PM: Coffee Break

5.30-6.30 PM: Roundtable 1 – Modernization of Civil Rights and Family Law in Islamic Contexts

  • Nouzha Guessous (Hassan II University, Casablanca), Fadma Ait Mous (Hassan II University, Casablanca), Giancarlo Bosetti (Reset DOC), Mohammed Hashas (LUISS, Rome), Abdou Filali-Ansary (Aga Khan University, London)
  • Chair: Armando Barucco, Head, Unit for Analysis and Planning, Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Tuesday, July 10 

10.00-11.30 AM : Session 2 – Pluralism and Universalism in Classical Islamic Scholarship

Panel 2

  • Mariam al-Attar (Sharjah University), Theories of Ethics in Islamic Thought and the Question Of Moral Pluralism
  • Oliver Leaman (University of Kentucky), Pluralism and Islamic Law: Why the Past is Better than the Present
  • Massimo Campanini (University of Trento), Universalism and Cosmopolitanism in Islam: The Idea of the Caliphate
  • Chair: Asma Afsaruddin (Indiana)

11.30-11.45 AM: Coffee Break

11.45 AM- 1.15 PM

Panel 3

  • Mohammed Mahjoub (University of Tunis), On the Possible Hermeneutical Interpretation of Pluralism in Islamic Thought: From Truth to Meaning
  • Abdallah Seyid Ould Bah (University of Nouakchott), Religious Plurality and Kalam Perspective on Diversity of the Creed: al-Ash‘ari, al-Shahrastani and al-Razi
  • Fouad Ben Ahmed (EDHH, Rabat), Philosophy in the Hanbali Contexts: Ibn Taymiyya as a Reader of Ibn Rushd
  • Chair: Mohammed Bensalah (Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, Rabat)

1.15-2.15 PM: Lunch Break

2:15-3:45 PM : Session 3 – Insights from Multicultural Societies, Sufism and Politics

Panel 4

  • Amin Abdullah (State Islamic University, Indonesia), Islamic Political Theology for a Global Age: Indonesian Religious Experience in Reforming Islamic Political Thought
  • Imtiyaz Yusuf (Mahidol University, Bangkok), Islamic Theology of Religious Pluralism:  Building Islam-Buddhism Understanding
  • Moin Nizami (Oxford University), The Limits of Pluralism in South Asian Sufism

Chair: Jonathan Laurence (Boston College)

3.45-4.00 PM: Coffee Break

4.00-5.00 PM: Roundtable 2 – Modern theologians and reforms | Book launch discussion

  • Abdallah Seyid Ould Bah (University of Nouakchott), Massimo Campanini (University of Trento), Mohamed Haddad (University of Carthage, Tunis)
  • Chair: Mohamed – Sghir Janjar (Casablanca)
  • Book: Mohamed Haddad, Le réformisme musulman: Une histoire critique (Mimesis, 2013)

Wednesday, July 11

10:00-11:30 AM: Session 4 – Political philosophy, politics, Sufism and education

Panel 5

  • Abdelwahab El-Affendi (Doha Institute), Tahkeem as an Islamic Democratic Precedent: Towards a New Look at One of Islam’s Formative Episodes
  • Anthony Booth (University of Sussex), Rawlsian Liberalism and Political Islam: Friends or Foes?
  • Emmanuel Karagiannis (King’s College), The Environmental Policy of the Muslim Brotherhood
  • Chair: Nouzha Guessous (Hassan II University, Casablanca)

11:30-11:45 AM: Coffee Break

11:45 AM -1:15 PM
Panel 6

  • Ednan Aslan (University of Vienna), Educating Muslim Children Towards Plurality
  • Clinton Bennett (SUNY, New York), On Sufism and Politics
  • Meriem el-Haitami (International Univeristy of Rabat IUR, Rabat), Morocco’s Religious Policy: A Post-Sufi Turn?
  • Chair: Fadma Ait Mous (Hassan II University, Casablanca)

1:15-2:15 PM: Lunch Break

2:15-3:30 PM: Roundtable 3: Religious authority and education in plural societies|Book launch discussion

  • Ednan Aslan (University of Vienna), Mohammed Khalid Rhazzali (University of Padova), Jonathan Laurence (Boston College), Amin Abdullah (Islamic State University, Indonesia), Mohammed Hashas (LUISS, Rome)
  • Chair: Giancarlo Bosetti (Reset DOC)
  • Book: Mohammed Hashas, Jan Jaap de Ruiter, Niels Valdemar Vinding, eds., Imams in Western Europe: Developments, Transformations, and Institutional Challenges(Amsterdam UP, 2018)

Scientific Committee

  • Fouad Ben Ahmed (Dar el-Hadith el-Hassania Institute for Higher Islamic Studies EDHH, Rabat)
  • Mohammed Bensalah (Granada Institute for Higher Education and Research, Granada)
  • Giancarlo Bosetti (Reset DOC, Milan)
  • Abdou Filali-Ansary (Aga Khan University, London)
  • Nouzha Guessous (Hassan II University, Casablanca)
  • Mohamed Haddad (University of Carthage, Tunis)
  • Mohammed Hashas (LUISS University, Rome)
  • Mohamed-Sghir Janjar (King Abdul-Aziz Al Saoud Foundation for Islamic Studies and Human Sciences, Casablanca)
  • Jonathan Laurence (Boston College)
  • Conference Scientific Coordinator
  • Mohammed Hashas (LUISS University, Rome)

The conference is held at King Abdul-Aziz Al Saoud Foundation for Islamic Studies and Human Sciences

Rue du Corail, Ain Diab, Casablanca, Morocco

Tel. : 05 22 39 10 27/30 Fax : 05 22 39 10 31

Attendance is free and open to the public. Working languages: English and Arabic.  A simultaneous translation from English to Arabic and vice-versa will be provided. For information, please contact us at