New York University’s Dialogues: Islamic World-U.S.-The West and its Institute of French Studies will host a roundtable discussion, Islam and Modernity: How to be Muslim and Modern Today, on Wed., May 3, 6:30 p.m. at NYU’s La Maison Française (16 Washington Mews at University Place). This event is free and open to the public, which must RSVP by May 1 to or 212.998.3656. Reporters interested in attending should contact James Devitt, Office of Public Affairs, at 212.998.6808 or The discussion is in French, with English translation available.

The roundtable will include Abdelmajid Charfi, emeritus professor of Arab Civilization and Islamic Thought at the University of Tunis and author of l’Islam entre le message et l’histoire (Islam between the Message and History); Hamadi Redissi, professor of political science at the University of Tunis and author of l’Exception islamique (The Islamic Exception); and Boutheina Cheriet, Quillian Visiting International Professor at Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, professor of sociology at the University of Algiers, and former minister of Women’s Affairs and the Family in Algeria. The three panelists stand at the forefront of an emerging school of thought within the Muslim world. Using the tools of contemporary social science, they have undertaken to critique Islam from within. Their work turns on several fundamental questions: Is it legitimate to question the timelessness of the Qur’an? Are certain key elements of Islamic heritage a product of history and thus no longer relevant today? Why has the Islamic world long stagnated in semi-modernity? What roles can women play as catalysts for reform?

  • WHAT: Roundtable Discussion-“Islam and Modernity: How to be Muslim and Modern Today”
  • WHEN: Wed., May 3, 6:30 p.m.
  • WHERE: NYU’s La Maison Française (16 Washington Mews at University Place) [Subway Lines: N, R, W (8th Street); 6 (Astor Place)]

A program of New York University, Dialogues: Islamic World-U.S.-The West emerged from the tragedy of September 11th, which highlighted the need for greater communication among and about the United States, Europe, and the Muslim world. Dialogues was founded as a forum for constructive debate between the various religious, intellectual, economic, and political sectors of American, European, and Islamic societies. The program brings contentious issues between the Islamic world and the West into a more rational plane and promotes this approach to a wide audience, including the important constituencies of policy and decision-makers, policy analysts, the media, and educational institutions.

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