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Symposium to focus on Islamic law and ethics

June 4, 2012

Local scholars, lawyers and religious practitioners will debate and discuss the role of sharia – Islamic law and ethics – in American life at a symposium organized by the newly established Center for Interfaith Cooperation and the School of Liberal Arts at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

“Sharia Beyond the Headlines” offers an in-depth examination of sharia in United States courts and its meaning in the lives of Indiana Muslims. The symposium is noon to 5 p.m. June 14 at the Indiana Interchurch Center, 1100 W. 42nd St., Indianapolis.

Don Knebel, founding chair of the Center for Interfaith Cooperation and a partner at Barnes & Thornburg, will moderate a panel on “Sharia and U.S. Law,” featuring Marion Superior Judge David Shaheed, attorney and human rights activist Rafia Zakaria, and former Indiana Civil Liberties Union director and IUPUI professor Sheila Kennedy.

Edward Curtis, Millennium Chair in the School of Liberal Arts, will offer a lunchtime presentation about the origins and meaning of sharia in Islamic history. Lunch is free, but registration is required through the events page of the Center for Interfaith Cooperation’s website: www.centerforinterfaithcooperation.org. .

Lamese Hasan, a former official at the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, will hold a roundtable discussion on the meaning of sharia in Muslim women’s lives. Roundtable participants are local activist Fatima Warsame, IU School of Social Work professor Khadija Khaja, and Amira Mashhour, lecturer and director of the Arabic program at IUPUI.

Funding for the symposium is provided by the American Center of Oriental Research in Amman, Jordan, and the Council of American Overseas Research Centers through a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York.

 

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