Conference: Political Quietism in Sunni, Shia and Sufi Jurisprudence

King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies holds its annual conference on Islamic Political Thought. The 2016 theme is Political Quietism, and a number of leading scholars, academics, and experts on the topic have been invited to speak during the two-day conference commencing from the 6th of December 2016. 

About the Speakers

Fuad Aliyev is an expert on Islam in post-Soviet countries and Islamic political economy. He was a Fulbright Scholar 2011-2012 at the John Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies’ Central Asia – Caucasus Institute, as well as a Hubert Humphrey fellow in 2005/2006 and affiliated with the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, as well as the Brookings Institute.

Ahmed Alowfi is a doctoral student in sociology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champagne. His primary research includes state-formation, sectarian identities and youth politics, particularly in the Arab Gulf states. He earned an M.A. in Sociology from the American University in Washington, D.C. for a thesis titled “From Warriors to Administrators: Capital and Coercion in the Early Process of State-Formation in Arabia [1900-1938].”

Boumediene Bouzid is the Under-Secretary for Islamic Culture in the Ministry of Religious Affairs of Algeria, as well a professor in the University of Oran, with special interest in: concepts of authority in Sufism, Islamist movements and Islamic studies.

Rainer Brunner is interested in Islamic intellectual history, especially modernism and modern appropriations of classical concepts. His interests also include Shiite Islam, Sunni-Shiite relations, the role of politics in theological reasoning, and Islam in Europe and the various problems related to Muslim presence in a secular environment.

Mansour Bukhari is a Saudi religious scholar specialized in fiqh and a researcher in Islamic History. He has previously published about Hanafi fiqh, and Islamic history in general.

Alessandro Cancian is a Research Associate in the Qur’anic Studies Unit at the Institute of Ismaili Studies in London. He completed his PhD in anthropology at the University of Siena, concentrating on cultural anthropology of Muslim societies and anthropology of religion. His dissertation was on the Shiite theological colleges (hawza, ilmiyyya) in Syria. He is a review editor for the Journal of Shi‘a Islamic Studies, and has edited and published articles and papers, contributed book chapters and encyclopedia entries, and delivered numerous lectures. Dr. Cancian’s areas of interest and expertise are the intellectual history of Shi‘ism, Shi‘i Sufism in early modern times and the anthropology of Islam, and Shi‘ism and modern Iran.

Mogamed Gizbulæv is a Junior Research Fellow in the Department of Ancient and Medieval History at the Institute of History, Archeology and Ethnography in the Dagestan Scientific Center division of the Russian Academy of the Sciences in Makhachkala.

Robert Gleave is a Professor of Arabic Studies at the University of Exeter. His research and teaching focus is on the history of Islamic Law, particularly in the areas of legal theory (Uūl al-fiqh), Shiite thought and law and the justifications of violence in Islamic thought. He is currently the principle investigator on the University of Exeter ESRC Impact Acceleration Account. 

Muhammad Shahid Habib is an Assistant Professor of Comparative Religions in the Department of Islamic Studies at Lahore Garrison University in Pakistan.

Jan-Peter Hartung is a Reader in the Study of Islam in SOAS University in London. He teaches Developments in Muslim Religious Thought, Study of Islam, and Modern Muslim Thinkers of South Asia. Hartung specializes in the intellectual history of Islam, and is especially interested in the maintenance of institutions of Muslim religious learning. He published a number of books and have many publications and book chapters.

Jeremy Kliedosty earned his PhD in International Relations from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. He is the author of The Concert of Civilizations: The Common Roots of Western and Islamic Constitutionalism, as well as a number of articles in comparative political theory. Having previously worked at the University of Sharja (UAE), he is now a post-doctoral researcher on the Academy of Finland project entitled “Political Power in the Early Modern European and Islamic Worlds.”

Laila Makboul is a PhD researcher at the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages at the University of Oslo and a Research Fellow on the project “The New Middle East; Emerging political and ideological trends” with Saudi Arabia as point of research. She holds an MA in Middle Eastern and North African Studies with the thesis titled “The Construction of One True Islam in Saudi Arabian Textbooks: An Analysis of Saudi National Identity Through the Teachings of Tawhid” (Norwegian). Her current main field of research and the subject of her PhD thesis is on women preachers in Saudi Arabia and their role in the society.

Christopher Melchert is a professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies in the Premboke College at the University of Oxford. His research interests are on Islamic Movements and Institutions during the 9th and 10th centuries, Sufism, and Hanbalism.

David Owen is a doctoral candidate in Arabic & Islamic Studies in the Department of Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations at Harvard University, with a secondary field in Classical Philosophy. His dissertation analyzes formal logic's absorption into legal theory and legal education in 11th century al-Andalus. His research traces the sources, development, and reception of pre-modern Iberia's jurists and philosophers. David holds a B.A. and M.A. from Columbia University.

Tabassum Parveen is a researcher, focusing on Political Economy of Arab Gulf states Qatar and UAE. She is interested in issues related to integration of Gulf economies. She has completed her M.Phil dissertation on ‘Diversification of Qatari Economy Since 2000’ from the Centre of West Asian Studies Jamia Milia Islamia in New Delhi and Master in Economics from Meerut University.

Walaa Quisay is a DPhil student at the University of Oxford. Her research revolves around what she refers to as ‘Neo-traditionalists’ in the West, how they deal with modernity, how they construct tradition, and most importantly the question of hurūj' in the context of a modern nation state.

Gilbert Ramsay was until recently a lecturer in international relations at the University of St Andrews. Recently he has taken up the position of head of research at the West Asia and North Africa Institute - one of the few think tanks genuinely rooted in the region. His own research interests revolve around political mobilisation, radicalisation, new media and popular culture.

Quyoom Suroush holds a bachelor degree in Sociology and Philosophy from the Social Science Faculty of Kabul University as well as a master degree in Security and Politics in Central Asia from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Academy of Bishkek. He worked as a journalist and researcher for national and international newspapers and organization since 2009. From 2014-2015, he worked for AAN as a researcher from April. Since October 2016, Suroush has been working with the Office of National Security Council (ONSC) as an advisor for Analysis and Research Team (ART).