Toronto, March 29, 2016 – Contemporary world issues are the focus of a new lecture series presented by the Aga Khan Museum this spring. Called “Islam and Muslims in the 21st Century,” the series launches an annual program that will invite high-profile speakers to the Museum and encourage public discussion and debate. The Globe and Mail is Media Sponsor for the series, which launches Sunday, April 17.
“Recent world events have brought an overwhelming focus on a particularly vocal and minority perspective of Islam. Here at the Museum, we encounter genuine curiosity from our visitors — and the Toronto public more generally — about Islam and Muslims and a wish to understand more. This call to explore the diverse lives and views of Muslims influenced the choice of theme for this year’s lecture series,” says Dr. Ruba Kana’an, series organizer and the Museum’s Head of Education and Scholarly Programming. Director and CEO Henry Kim adds, “Through our exhibitions and performances, we’ve shown the breadth of Muslim civilizations and how contemporary artists engage with tradition. With this lecture series, we’re extending this conversation to explore how much diversity of opinion and experience exists among Muslims today.”
Identity and belonging, youth and integration, and immigration and settlement are among the subjects tackled by this year’s speakers. Each lecture is followed by a Q&A session:
- Media, Muslims, and Free Speech (Sunday, April 17, 2 pm): Haroon Siddiqui investigates Canada’s model of pluralism and the representation of Muslims in the media.
- The Qur’an in the 21st Century (Sunday, May 1, 2 pm): Walid Saleh from the University of Toronto explores how Muslims use and interpret the Qur’an today.
- Of Hockey and Hijab: New Reflections on Being Female, Canadian, and Muslim (Sunday, May 15, 2 pm): Columnist and author Sheema Khan probes gender roles among today’s Muslim men and women.
- Hybrid Identities: Muslim Arab Youth and the West (Sunday, June 12, 2 pm): The University of Waterloo’s Bessma Momani offers insights on the transformative power of youth.
- Communing with the Divine: Islamic Mystical Traditions and the Arts (Sunday, June 26, 2 pm): Harvard University’s Ali Asani examines Sufi and Shia devotional traditions.
- Refugees, Immigrants, and Citizens: The Muslim Diaspora Experience in the West (Sunday, July 10, 2 pm): Journalist and author Doug Saunders explores the 21st-century impact of Muslim migration to the West.
Tickets are now available (Cost: 6 lectures for $50; per lecture $10). For tickets and more information, visit agakhanmuseum.org.
The Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, Canada has been established and developed by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC), which is an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). The Museum’s mission is to foster a greater understanding and appreciation of the contribution that Muslim civilizations have made to world heritage.