Events: Understanding Islam in an Age of Polarization and Misinformation

Event: Thursday, March 5, 2020. 6:30 PM- 8:30 PM at University of Alberta

A Public Talk by Ali S. Asani (Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures, Harvard University)


We live in a world in which illiteracy about Islam has been increasingly exploited to divide people and undermine the pluralistic fabric of societies.  The dehumanization of entire religious communities through stereotypes and the language of hate has resulted in not only violation of human rights but also in violence and loss of life. This presentation will focus on how we can combat illiteracy about Islam in political, media and social spaces and promote more nuanced perspectives about the tradition.

This event is FREE and open to public.

Event: Tuesday, March 24, 2020. 5:00 PM- 7:00 PM at Université de Montréal


A ticketed event which will include reception with Professor Asani has been organized by Harvard Club Of Québec & Faculté De Droit De L’Université De Montréal on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. This event will be held at Laboratoire de cyberjustice (B-2215), Université de Montréal, 3200 rue Jean-Brillant, Montréal, Québec. Ticket for this event can be purchased from the source:

Born in Nairobi, Kenya, Ali Asani is Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures and the Director of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Islamic Studies Program at Harvard University. After completing his high school education in Kenya, he attended Harvard College, with a concentration in the Comparative Study of Religion, graduating summa cum laude in 1977. He continued his graduate work at Harvard in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (NELC), receiving his PhD in 1984. Prof. Asani holds a joint appointment between the Committee on the Study of Religion and NELC. He also serves on the faculty of the Departments of South Asian Studies and African and African-American Studies. He has taught at Harvard since 1983, offering instruction in a variety of South Asian and African languages and literatures as well as courses on various aspects of the Islamic tradition including Understanding Islam and Contemporary Muslim Societies, Religion, Literature and the Arts in Muslim Cultures, Muslim Voices in Contemporary World Literatures, Introduction to Islamic Mysticism (Sufism), Ismaili History and Thought. and Muslim Societies in South Asia: Religion, Culture and Identity.

Portrait of Professor Ali Asani
Harvard Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures Ali Asani is pictured in the Barker Center at Harvard University. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer

Professor Asani has been particularly active post-September 11 in improving the understanding of Islam and its role in Muslim societies by conducting workshops for high school and college educators as well as making presentations at various public forums. He is particularly interested in the arts, broadly defined, as the primary means by which Muslims have experienced their faith and their potential as pedagogic bridges to foster a better understandings of the Islamic tradition. He has been involved in the Islamic Cultural Studies Initiative, an international professional development program for high school teachers in Kenya, Pakistan and Texas intended to promote a culturally and historically based approach to the study of Islam and Muslim societies. He has also served on the American Academy of Religion’s Task Force on the teaching of religion in schools. More recently, he was a consultant for the National Endowment for the Humanities Bridging Cultures Muslim Journeys Bookshelf Project. In 2002, Professor Asani was awarded the Harvard Foundation medal for his outstanding contributions to improving intercultural and race relations at Harvard and the nation.

Author: ismailimail

Independent, civil society media featuring Ismaili Muslim community, inter and intra faith endeavors, achievements and humanitarian works.

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