Sherman Jackson of the University of Southern California delivers a lecture entitled, “Whither the Modern Muslim: Negotiating Creed, Theology, & Spirituality”. From the Zaytuna conference, Reclaiming Our Faith: Negotiating Modern Theological Fault Lines held in Anaheim, California on May 25, 2013.
For Muslims to be united with others in this country we need to view ourselves as legitimate Americans. In this challenging lecture, Dr. Sherman Jackson examines the idea of Muslim membership in the American family and the rights and privileges accruing from that membership. Perhaps, more importantly, he examines the consequences of exclusion and marginalization for both ours and future generations of American Muslims.
The region of the Middle/Near East and North Africa has witnessed numerous wars and armed conflicts since ancient times up to the present. Some were a result of territorial expansion by imperial states or nomadic invasions; others were triggered by local competition for resources between two or more countries of the region. Still others were intended or unintended outcomes of broader geopolitical confrontations, such as WWI and WWII and, later on, the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the Western world. Military technology evolved from the first use of camels and chariots to gunpowder and canon, more recently, also to chemical weapons. Slave armies and feudal military have been replaced by the mass conscripted armies of modern nation states. On the ideological plane, wars and military conflicts have been justified by reference to a wide variety of causes, from the “liberation” of the Holy Land from an “infidel” enemy to Europe’s “civilizing mission”; from establishing the homeland for a people that did not have one to stopping the proliferation of WMD, to the spread of nationalism, Socialism, Islamism, democracy, and so on.