College of Liberal Arts

Discussion Examines "Blasphemy Contexts and Islamic Empires"

Friday Oct 9, 2009 1:30 PM | West Mall Office Building (WMB), Room 6.146

The Center for Middle Eastern Studies presents a talk titled "Blasphemy Contexts & Islamic Empires" by Shemeem Burney Abbas, the Juanita and Joseph Leff Distinguished Professor in Political Science at the State University of New York at Purchase.

Burney Abbas will speak about Islamic empires’ creation of kufr, or blasphemy laws appropriating prophetic authority from Muhammad.  Among such empires were the Abbasids in Iraq, the Ommayas in Spain and the Ottomans that governed vast empires using such laws. Blasphemy laws were also resurrected under General Ziaul Haq (1978-1989) of Pakistan for geopolitical control of the region that also included Afghanistan, to bring down the Soviet Union. It also ended the cold war. 

Seeking validation in the name of Nizam-e Mustafa or Muhammad’s Islam, these laws generated a state-sponsored infidel ideology that has impacted not only the citizens and social justice but now affects international and global security as militant groups justify violence based on treating all non-Muslims as infidels.

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