Influential Voices to Confront Islamophobia in All Its Forms

Speakers Collage

Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) will confront the complex, manifold dimensions of prejudice against Muslims and Islam with its international conference “Global Histories and Practices of Islamophobia” beginning Saturday, September 30.

Prominent voices against Islamophobia, among them scholars, activists, policymakers, and journalists, will engage in insightful conversations, pose critical questions, and explore the intellectual roots of Islamophobia. Panelists will also offer responses to counter enduring anti-Islamic sentiment across major public platforms around the world.  

H.E. Ambassador Ebrahim Rasool, Founder of the World for All Foundation, will articulate the challenges of this modern-day pandemic in a keynote address.

Joining him at a high-level roundtable discussion later in the conference will be H.E., Ambassador Dr. Khalid Fahad al Khater, Director, Policy Planning, Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the State of Qatar, who said: “As part of its foreign policy agenda, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is currently undertaking a series of initiatives on anti-racism, including Islamophobia. As such, it welcomes this conference as a timely intervention to draw the world’s attention to this critical issue.”

Participating speakers will include the political theorist Anne Norton, Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, and author of the 2013 book On the Muslim Question, as well as Dr. Salman Sayyid, Professor in Rhetoric and Decolonial Thought at the University of Leeds. Dr. Sayyid is one of the pioneers of Critical Muslim Studies and the founding editor of ReOrient: The Journal of Critical Muslim Studies.

In other panel sessions on day one, speakers will trace the colonial roots of Islamophobia and its connection to racism and discrimination. On the second day, speakers will delve into Islamophobic attitudes and stigmas that emerged during Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup as well as the globalization of Islamophobia as a residual impact of the “war on terror.” 

“This GU-Q conference promises to be an intellectually stimulating and transformative event, fostering a deeper understanding of the complex issue of Islamophobia and contributing positively toward meaningful resolutions. The presence of Ambassador Ebrahim Rasool and so many influential scholars and practitioners underscores the important role of dialogue in addressing global challenges collectively,” noted Dr. Karine Walther, Associate Professor of History at GU-Q and conference co-organizer.

A special focus of the conference will be addressing Islamophobia on university campuses. Alongside the main discussions, there will be interactive workshops where students and community members can engage with activists and artists who are at the forefront of combating Islamophobia. A student-led forum, in coordination with GU-Q Student Affairs and relevant student clubs, will address what universities have been doing and should continue doing, to combat Islamophobia and its impact on their campuses.

Co-organized by GU-Q faculty members Dr. Firat Oruc, Dr. Karine Walther, and Dr. Abdullah Al-Arian, the conference will continue through Sunday, October 1, 2023 at the Four Seasons Hotel, Doha.

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