The first session of the IIIT Intellectual Panels at this year’s 51st annual ISNA convention, titled Reform of Education, was led by Dr. Abubaker Al-Shingieti’s introductory remarks on the need for reform in light of the difficult realities facing educational institutions in the Muslim world.
The IIIT Hospitality Suite at the ISNA Annual Convention was held on Saturday and Sunday August 30-31, 2014. There were a total of six sessions, four on Saturday and two on Sunday. The first session was on Reform of Education. Speakers included Prof. Ebrahim Moosa, Imam Zaid Shakir, Dr. Mahan Mirza, Dr. Ingrid Mattson and Dr. Ermin Sinanovic. The second session focused on the post Arab Spring Developments with Prof. Emad Shahin as speaker and Dr. Sinanovic as discussant.
The Fairfax Institute held a half-day seminar, “Campus Life and Muslim College Students,” on August 18, 2014. Featured lecturers included Professor Omid Safi (Duke University), Professor Jonathan Brown (Georgetown University) and Dr. Ermin Sinanovic (IIIT). The student panel included Omar Nassimi (George Mason University - GMU), Omama Altaleb, a student of GMU and founder of Layali Magazine, and Abrar Omeish (Yale University). Twenty-one students from freshman to seniors attended the seminar.
The AMSS UK organized a scholastic module for a group of IIUM High Achievers and SRC Members in London as part of the IIUM Global Leadership Training for students. The event took place 24‐25th august 2014 at Malaysia Hall in London.
The 3rd MACCPAC-TFI Youth took place at the International Institute of Islamic Thought from August 4-8. The opening ceremony was held at the IIIT Library. The program started with welcoming remarks by Dr. Emin Sinanovic, Director Research & Academics at the IIIT and by Br. Aktar Hossain from the Muslim American Citizens Coalition and Public Affairs Council (MACCPAC). This was followed by two short videos introducing the mission and objectives of MACCPAC and IIIT.
On July 9th 2014, IIIT held its annual Iftar dinner at IIIT headquarters, with participation of over seventy community leaders, scholars, politicians and IIIT leaders and staff. The program, that started at 7:00 and ended at 10:00 PM, featured several components including Al Faruqii Memorial Lecture which was delivered by Professor John Esposito.
The 8th IIIT Summer Students Program for 2014 came to an end on Tuesday, June 24th with a graduation ceremony that brought together students, scholars and senior IIIT executives and staff. The Summer Students Program started on May 19th, 2014 with fourteen senior undergraduate and graduate students participating from different countries and diverse academic backgrounds.
On June 16th, the 7th annual Summer Institute for Scholars opened at the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), focusing on the theme of “Islamic Law and Ethics.” Opening proceedings were held in the IIIT Library beginning with welcoming remarks from Dr. Ermin Sinanović, the Director of the Summer Institute for Scholars, Dr. Abubakr Al-Shingieti, Executive Director of IIIT, Prof. Abdulaziz Sachedina, IIIT Chair in Islamic Studies, George Mason University, and Dr. Jamal Barzinji, President IIIT, USA. This was followed by a video presentation giving an overview of IIIT work and mission.
IIIT’s annual Summer Students Program began on Monday May 19, 2014. The students were welcomed by Dr. Abubaker al-Shingeiti, Executive Director - IIIT, Dr. Ermin Sinanovic, Director Research at IIIT & Director of the Fairfax Institute, Prof. Dr. Emad Shahin, Professor at AUC, and Dr. Emad-ad-Dean Ahmad, President - Minaret of Freedom Institute.
"Muslims of the Balkans today fear isolation – from the Western world and from the rest of the Muslim community at the same time – but they have become an important factor in cultural and socio-political environment in their countries," said Dr. Ahmet Alibašić during his talk, “Muslims of the Balkans: Current Situation and Challenges,” held at the IIIT on Friday, May 2, 2014.
“Crossing Cairo” was the title of the talk by Rabbi Ruth Sohn, based on her book by the same name. The talk was delivered at the IIIT on Friday, April 25, 2014, and attended by a number of local academicians, activists, and community leaders. Rabbi Sohn’s rich account of her 6-months stay in Cairo, during her husband’s sabbatical in Egypt, was replete with personal stories, anecdotes, and vignettes, which were laced by unusual honesty and self-reflections.
The Fairfax Institute held a course, “Introduction to the Hadith Studies,” which was taught by Dr. Jonathan Brown of Georgetown University on April 25 and 26, 2014. This 8-hours course covered a variety of topics, including: the Quran, Sunnah, Hadith and Understanding Islam; Hadith Collection and Compilation; Hadith Criticism & Its Methods; Hadith Meaning and Isnad; Uses and Misuses of Hadith; and Case Studies in Authenticating Hadith.
On March 7, 2014, IIIT presented its Emeritus Awards to 4 of its distinguished members. The event took place in Istanbul, Turkey and celebrated the outstanding lifetime contributions of each member in his own field. Dr. AbdulHamid AbuSulayman was granted the title of President Emeritus in appreciation and recognition of his outstanding lifetime scholarly contribution to the Reform of Islamic Thought and the development of its methodology and the advancement of the IIIT mission worldwide.
“Islam and Interfaith Dialogue,” was the topic of IIIT’s latest monthly seminar held on March 21, 2014. Dr. Seyed Amir Akrami, the featured speaker, is a scholar of Islam, the philosophy of religion, and interfaith dialogue. He is currently a visiting scholar at the Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, VA.
March 22, 2014 on a clear and sunny day in Herndon- a break from the reign of the polar vortex, a workshop was held by Ibrahim Abdul-Matin, author of Green Deen: What Islam Says About Protecting the Planet to discuss the many faces of the environmental crisis and to share the connections between Islamic teachings and environmentalism. Abdul-Matin shared his research, scriptures, and personal experience to trace Islam’s dedication to humankind’s collective role as stewards of the Earth. The workshop was attended by a group of community members and interfaith partners interested in environmental sustainability.