Jihad and Pluralism in Islam | Congregation Beth Am

Jihad and Pluralism in Islam

Shabbat Salon with Guest Speaker Sumbul Ali-Karamali

In the American and European public discourse, Islamic academic terms are routinely and carelessly used as catchphrases to explain current events, regardless of their actual meanings in the Islamic tradition. For example, what does jihad really mean in Islamic law? What is the jihad of patient forbearance? And what does the Islamic tradition say about relations with other religious communities?

Join Sumbul Ali-Karamali, a former corporate lawyer with a degree in Islamic law, as she conducts an academic (but engaging!) exploration of Islamic religious rules of jihad and pluralism.

Sumbul Ali-Karamali earned her B.A. in English from Stanford University and her J.D. from the University of California at Davis. After practicing corporate law for a while, she earned a graduate degree in Islamic law from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies. She has taught Islamic Law and has served as a research associate at the Centre of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law in London. Her first book, The Muslim Next Door: the Qur’an, the Media, and that Veil Thing, a Bronze Medal Winner of the 2009 Independent Publishers Book Awards, was: selected for “Silicon Valley Reads”; recommended by the American Academy of Religion’s Islam section for teaching Islam in classrooms; and chosen for the Huffington Post’s list of “Eleven Must-Read Books by Muslim Authors.” Her second book, Growing up Muslim: Understanding the Beliefs and Practices of Islam, is a nonfiction chapter book for ages 10 & up, though it is appropriate for any age.

Ms. Ali-Karamali is a frequent speaker and writer on Islam-related topics. She currently serves on the steering committee of Women in Islamic Spirituality and Equality (WISE) and on the Muslim Women’s Global Shura Council, both of which aim to promote women’s rights and human rights from an Islamic perspective. Sumbul has been a reviewer for Oxford University Press, as well as both a nonfiction and fiction judge for the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. In her free time, Sumbul enjoys opera, white-water rafting, and watching Star Trek reruns with her family.

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