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What does a modern Islamic social reality look like? How does it deal with finance, employment, trade, education, poverty, justice and governance amongst other things? All these questions are skillfully answered in a series of talks that starts with the 'Ramadhan Discourses.' Compulsory listening for any sincere Muslim activist or would-be 'fundamentalist.'
 
We interview American diplomats, capturing the sacrifice, leadership, humor, heroism, wisdom, and lessons of modern American diplomacy. Through historical reflections and personal anecdotes, guests explain foreign policy and tradecraft, or what they were trying to accomplish and how. Episodes include conversations with America’s diplomatic legends -- including Thomas Pickering, John Negroponte, Bill Burns, Maura Harty, Beth Jones and Kristie Kenney -- as well as rising leaders and foreign po ...
 
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Western Jihadism: A Thirty Year History (Oxford University Press, 2021) tells the story of how Al Qaeda grew in the West. In forensic and compelling detail, Jytte Klausen traces how Islamist revolutionaries exiled in Europe and North America in the 1990s helped create and control one of the world's most impactful terrorist movements--and how, after…
 
Throughout its history, Nigeria has been plagued by religious divisions. Tensions have only intensified since the restoration of democracy in 1999, with the divide between Christian south and Muslim north playing a central role in the country's electoral politics, as well as manifesting itself in the religious warfare waged by Boko Haram. Through t…
 
Kristian Petersen’s new edited volume Muslims in the Movies: A Global Anthology (Ilex Foundation and Harvard University Press, 2021), introduces the subject of Muslims and film. The volume contains nineteen chapters that engage a range of film industries, including Hollywood and Bollywood, but also movies from the Philippines, Indonesia, Nigeria, I…
 
How important is Islam to Indonesia’s identity? How different is Salafism from a more mainstream Sunni Islam? Why is it popular with mostly young Indonesian Muslims? And what effect does it have on Indonesian identity and democracy? In this episode, Chris Chaplin joins Petra Desatova to discuss his new book Salafism and the State: Islamic Activism …
 
Amb. Bill Taylor -- our first political appointee as a guest -- discusses Ukraine, impeachment, "irregular channels," public diplomacy, the nature of conflict, Afghanistan, foreign assistance and being an interagency team player. *Brought to you as part of an Una Chapman Cox Foundation project on American diplomacy and the Foreign Service.…
 
Muhammad has not only been at the center of Muslims discussions of prophethood but he has also been the focus for many Christians as well. In The Christian Encounter with Muhammad: How Theologians have Interpreted the Prophet (Bloomsbury, 2020), Charles Tieszen, Ph.d., University of Birmingham, introduces a wide variety of depictions throughout his…
 
What does Islam say about women’s leadership of prayer? What sources have Muslim scholars used historically to answer this question, and what do those sources say exactly? What are the conditions under which women can lead prayers, and which types of prayers can they lead, if at all? Do Sunnis and Shi’is differ on the matter? How do contemporary Mu…
 
Religious Entrepreneurs? is based on an in-depth filmed conversation between Howard Burton and Nile Green who holds the Ibn Khaldn Endowed Chair in World History at UCLA. Nile Green is an expert on Islamic History and religion in the world. He has traveled extensively in India, Turkey, Pakistan, China, Myanmar, Iran, Egypt, Yemen, Syria, Morocco an…
 
Amb. Roberta Jacobson talks about reestablishing U.S. ties with Cuba, becoming America’s first female and civil servant ambassador to Mexico, forging a path during her 31-year career in the Department, and dealing with populist leaders. Ambassador Jacobson also discusses reestablishing diplomatic ties with Cuba, how she forged a path as a woman foc…
 
Tunisia became one of the largest sources of foreign fighters for the Islamic State—even though the country stands out as a democratic bright spot of the Arab uprisings and despite the fact that it had very little history of terrorist violence within its borders prior to 2011. In Your Sons Are at Your Service: Tunisia's Missionaries of Jihad (Colum…
 
Listen in as Raj Balkaran speaks with Amir Hussain (Chair, Theological Studies at Layola Marymount University) about his scholarship on Muslims in America, his work as the Editor of the Journal of the American Academy of Religion (2011-2015), his role as the Vice President of the American Academy of Religion, and overall trends in the field of Reli…
 
Over time and across different genres, Afghanistan has been presented to the world as potential ally, dangerous enemy, gendered space, and mysterious locale. These powerful, if competing, visions seek to make sense of Afghanistan and to render it legible. In Imagining Afghanistan: The History and Politics of Imperial Knowledge (Cambridge University…
 
Ambassador Lino Gutierrez served as an Ambassador to Argentina as well as to Nicaragua, and as Acting Assistant Secretary of the Western Hemisphere Affairs Bureau. He is the Executive Director of the Una Chapman Cox Foundation, which also supports this podcast. In this episode, Ambassador Gutierrez discusses his experience from Cuban immigrant to d…
 
A Sultan in Autumn: Erdogan Faces Turkey's Uncontainable Forces (I. B. Tauris, 2021) is a primer for anybody who wants to understand modern Turkish politics and its central player Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who, for better or worse, has shaped Turkish politics and society for the last two decades. The book breaks down various elements of his administrati…
 
Why has secularism faced such challenges in the Middle East and in Lebanon in particular? In light of dominating headlines about the spread of sectarianism and the so-called death of Arab secularism, Mark Farha addresses the need for a thorough examination of the history of secular thought and practice in the region. In Lebanon: The Rise and Fall o…
 
Who is ‘Uthman ibn Affan, and why does he matter? Why was his election as the third successor to the Prophet Muhammad so controversial? In fact, why is he a controversial figure in Islamic history? Who killed him, and was his murder the fault of his own leadership and character flaws or was he a victim of the time and context he lived in, of the le…
 
In the West, the study of the phenomenon known as the Crusades has long been dominated by European concerns: European periodization, European selection of important moments and personages, and, most of all, European sources. In recent years, scholars such as Carole Hillenbrand, Paul Cobb, and Michael Lower have mined Arabic-language material with t…
 
Weaving together personal story and broad analysis, Bagila Burkhabayeva’s The Vanishing Generation: Revolution, Religion, and Disappearance in Modern Uzbekistan (Indiana UP, 2019) deals with the question of Islam and its repression during the period of Islam Karimov’s rule in newly independent Uzbekistan. As witness to the infamous Zhaslyk prison a…
 
Since 2004 the Malay-Muslim majority provinces in the border region of southern Thailand have been wracked by a violent insurgency. Over 7000 people have been killed and many thousands more injured. Currently 60,000 Thai security personnel are stationed in the region to conduct counter-insurgency operations. Another 80,000 people have been organize…
 
In her magnificent and lyrical new book, The Emperor Who Never Was: Dara Shukoh in Mughal India (Harvard UP, 2020), Supriya Gandhi reorients and adds unprecedented depth to our understanding of the much memorialized but less understood Mughal prince and thinker Dara Shukoh (d. 1659), and of his broader political and social milieu. Written with exce…
 
What do we really know about how and where religions began, and how they spread? Robin Derricourt considers the birth and growth of several major religions, using history and archaeology to recreate the times, places and societies that witnessed the rise of significant monotheistic faiths. Beginning with Mormonism and working backwards through Isla…
 
Of the available sources for Islamic history published before the 9th century of the Christian Era, few are of greater importance than Kitab Futuh al-Buldan (The Book of the Conquest of Lands), by al-Baladhuri, a ninth-century administrator at the Abbasid court. The text has been heavily relied upon by scholars for centuries as they have compiled t…
 
In 2017, Myanmar's military launched a campaign of widespread targeted violence against its Rohingya minority. The horrific atrocities was later described by United Nations experts as genocide. This had been building since 2012, when earlier ethnic violence erupted between Buddhists and Muslims in Western Myanmar. These very grave incidents leading…
 
Jyoti Gulati Balachandran's Narrative Pasts: The Making of a Muslim Community in Gujarat, c. 1400-1650 (Oxford University Press, 2020) explores the complex power of Sufi texts in creating Muslim communities in Gujarat from the fifteenth to the seventeenth centuries. Balachandran focuses on three main Sufi saints, including Ahmad Khattu, whose disci…
 
Tim "Timmy" Davis is an active duty Foreign Service Officer and career member of the Senior Foreign Service. In this episode, Tim shares lessons learned on leadership, beginning with his experience as a U.S. Marine. He also discusses how to develop strong teams, instill a work ethic, promote selflessness, encourage diversity, and increase recruitme…
 
Islam through Objects (Bloomsbury, 2021) represents the state of the field of Islamic material cultural studies. With contributions from scholars of religion, anthropologists, art historians, folklorists, historians, and other disciplines, Anna Bigelow, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Stanford University, brings together a wide range of…
 
During the height of Muslim power in Mughal South Asia, Hindu and Muslim scholars worked collaboratively to translate a large body of Hindu Sanskrit texts into the Persian language. Translating Wisdom reconstructs the intellectual processes and exchanges that underlay these translations. Using as a case study the 1597 Persian rendition of the Yoga-…
 
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