Framing/Reframing: The Five "Media Pillars" of Islam
Wed, April 4, 2012 • 6:00 PM • AVAYA Auditorium (ACES 2.302), 24th and Speedway
In this presentation, Munir Jiwa discuss the normative frames through which Islam and Muslims enter the American public sphere. Nothing serves as a more unifying force for the secular/liberal left and the Christian right, than their fundamentalist dogmas against Islam and Muslims. These frames are what Dr. Jiwa refers to as the five “media pillars” of Islam, namely: the events of 9/11 as the predominant temporal lens through which to understand Islamic history and theology; violence and terrorism; the obsession with Muslim women and veiling; Islam and the West and questions of compatibility and values, including new debates on shar’ia; and finally the Middle East as the geographical and spatial zone through which to understand Islam and Muslims, with a focus on politics. So totalizing are these frames, that any reframing runs the risk of being unrecognizable or apologetic. By what stretch of the American imaginary and under what conditions and limits, can we make possible expanded norms of recognition of Islam and Muslim life?
Munir Jiwa is the founding director of the Center for Islamic Studies and Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies at the Graduate Theological Union and a visiting scholar with the Religious Norms Project at UC Berkeley. He holds a Ph.D. and M.Phil. in Anthropology from Columbia University and a Masters in World Religions from Harvard Divinity School. His research interests include Islam and Muslims in the West, media, aesthetics, secularism and religious identity. Since 1995 he has worked withReligions for Peace on interfaith programs in Bosnia, Japan, the Middle East, and West Africa. He also worked with the Ford Foundation-funded “Muslims in NYC Project” at Columbia University from 1998-2004. He has submitted a manuscript for review entitled: Exhibiting Islam: Art, Politics and Identity in New York City.