On 11 and 12 December 2021, IHRC’s annual Islamophobia conference will address the questions posed by Muslim participation in civic and political life in the so-called ‘West,’ including countries like the UK, the US, the European Union, Australia and Canada.
Of course, these are regions where Muslims reside as minority communities, oftentimes as scapegoats for pre-existing social ruptures and as targets of discrimination. But these questions are not just for Muslims living in the ‘West’ as countries that are Muslim majority or have large Muslim populations bear the burden of being institutionally ‘Westernised.’ These nations, including Nigeria, India, Pakistan, South Africa, Malaysia and others, face the reality of asymmetric power dynamics with the ‘West’ as well as with those within their respective countries that are colonized and westernised from within. The scheduled panels will address the various issues that arise on the always timely question of how much engagement with the establishment of the ‘West’ and its vestigial forces is pru- dent, acceptable and necessary, if at all.
For Muslims, the theological, academic, communal and strategic considerations are complex and often convoluted, intertwined, and currently creating fissures within the Islamicate that are either exploited by external forces or at the least, making any sense of Muslim pluralism, let alone unity, highly elusive. A conversation that assesses all of these factors, their parameters and offering strategies moving forward is an essential intervention for Muslim communities whose agency and viability in the societies where they reside is in constant question by the establishment of and in the ‘West.’