Talk | Perceptions and Misperceptions of Islam and Muslim Cultures with Dr. Vishakha N. Desai

“Despite the great diversity of Muslims living in all parts of the world, including the West, now numbering almost 1.8 billion and comprising almost 25% of the world population, adherents of Islam are increasingly seen as monolithic with a primary identity associated with their faith. The largest numbers of people who follow Islam are in Asian countries: Indonesia, Pakistan and India, but much of the perception of Muslims is often colored by the events in the Middle East and in the Euro-American world.

This conversation will use South Asia and the Muslim Diaspora in the U.S. and Europe as its focal point to discuss the root causes of the perceptions and misperceptions of Islam and Muslim societies in the aftermath of 9/11. The role of social media, questions of increasing conservatism in the practice of Islam, and the questions of cultural identity as opposed to religious identity will be explored with scholars, activists and artists.

Panelists:  Dr. Manan Ahmed, Columbia University; Dr. Muhammad Fraser-Rahim, executive Director, North America for Quilliam International; Dr. Kathryn Spellman Poots, Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilizations at Aga Khan University, London and Columbia University;  Shahzia Sikander, visual artist

Moderator: Dr. Vishakha Desai, President Emerita, Asia Society and Columbia University

Asia in the World: Geocultural Conversations with Dr. Vishakha N. Desai is made possible in part through support by women.nyc and by Brooklyn Public Library’s Fund for the Humanities, established through the generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities, The Hearst Foundation, Inc., Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, The Starr Foundation, the Leon and Muriel Gilbert Charitable Trust, Henry and Lucy Moses Fund, Inc. and a gift in memory of Samuel and Pauline Wine.”

Access more information from the Brooklyn Library here.