The Voice of Faith in Islam's Challenge to Europe: Asma Barlas

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Over four days, our 20 plus speakers – philosophers and theologians, historians and writers, believers and non-believers – will consider what it means to be religious, and what role the voice of faith may legitimately have in the conversations of citizens in a multicultural, democratic state and the community of nations.

Across Saturday, three keynote lectures from distinguished international guests each consider the challenges posed by – and to – faith in the building of modern communities. Following the three lectures, all three keynote speakers will be in discussion with each other, exchanging and challenging one another’s views.

Following on from Modood’s exploration of the challenges of democratic multiculturalism, distinguished scholar and outspoken public intellectual Asma Barlas delves further into the relationship between Islam and contemporary Europe. Born and raised in Pakistan, Barlas was one of the first women to join the foreign service. However, she was dismissed on the orders of the country’s military ruler for her criticism of him, and eventually received political asylum in the US. Barlas has written and spoken eloquently against Western misreadings of the Qur’an, and passionately against Islamic misreadings that would appear to justify the oppression of women.

For the full text of this lecture plus transcripts and recordings of the series, visit our Faith and Culture archive.

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