Dr. Abubaker Alshingieti, Executive Director - IIIT, introduced the IIIT Special Lecture program as a new forum for conversation or debate on topics related to the study of Islam, its history, civilization and contemporary Muslim world affairs. He welcomed the audience and introduced the speaker Prof. Ebrahim Moosa and Prof. Carl Ernst, Professor of Islamic studies at the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who commented on the lecture.
Moosa pointed out that Muslim orthodoxy is commonly assumed to have the final say in juridical and ethical matters. However, orthodoxies are multiple, are prone to inter mural and, at times, deadly rivalries and have competing epistemological frameworks. In addition, there are networks and discourses of Muslim ethical and juridical deliberation that exist outside of well-known orthodox frameworks.
In his presentation, Moosa examined select cases of ethical and juridical debates among Muslims by looking at case studies from south Asia and the Middle East on questions such as blasphemy and family law. As much as all normative claims and orthodox projections wish to assert that their beliefs and values are transcendent, the argument he made was that material conditions and changing cultural values do indeed alter the normative evaluations and allow one to restate the orthodox position.