Print Edition

With God on Our Side?

Islam and the Question of Pluralism

In an age characterized by an overall assault on religious practices and Abrahamic morality, Muslims would do well to have greater tolerance for, and to even cooperate with, those who are close to us in our beliefs and values. This also poses challenging questions: What choices of individual conscience should Muslim theology accommodate? How was kufr understood in the Islamic tradition? Does radical pluralism become a type of relativism? 

Join us for a lively and informative conversation between three scholars—Hamza Yusuf, Maria Dakake, and Andrew March—working in the frontiers of this emerging discussion.

Reception begins 6:00 pm PST | Saturday, March 17, 2018

Program and livestream begin 7:00 pm PST 

Venue: Zaytuna College, Berkeley, California

This is a free event.

Hamza Yusuf

Hamza Yusuf

President, Zaytuna College; Vice President, Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies

Hamza Yusuf is president of Zaytuna College. He has been a student of the classical Islamic tradition for over forty years, studying with some of the most respected scholars of our time. At Zaytuna College, he has taught courses on Islamic jurisprudence, ethics, astronomy, logic, theology, prophetic biography, hadith, as well as other subjects. He has also published numerous titles on these and other topics. He is an advisor to the Center for Islamic Studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. He was a board advisor for George Russell’s One Nation, an interfaith bridge-building organization that strives to improve relations between Muslims and non-Muslims in the United States. He is vice-president for the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies, an international initiative that seeks to address the root causes that can lead to radicalism and militancy.

Maria Dakake

Maria Dakake

Professor of Religious Studies at George Mason University

Maria Dakake is an associate professor of religious studies at George Mason University. Her research specialties include Islamic intellectual history, Qur’anic studies, Shi’ite and Sufi traditions, and women’s spirituality and religious experience. In 2015, she co-edited The Study Quran, which includes a verse-by-verse commentary. Her current publication projects include a co-edited volume, The Routledge Companion to the Qur’an, and a monograph on the concept of religion as a universal phenomenon in the Qur’an and Islamic intellectual tradition.

Andrew March

Andrew March

Berggruen Fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University

Andrew March is a Berggruen Fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University. He taught for ten years in the Political Science Department at Yale University, and has taught Islamic law at both Yale and New York University law schools. His research and teaching interests are in the areas of political philosophy, Islamic law and political thought, religion, and comparative political theory.

Pluralism in a Monoculture of Conformity

Despite the diversity of our countless creeds, colors, and cultures, our society has been subsumed into a monoculture of ersatz arts, entertainment, and consumerism. How can we recapture humanity’s once extraordinary individuality?


Rules of Engagement

In religious dialogue, are virtue and good manners ultimately as important as, or perhaps more important than, the eloquence of words and the rigor of arguments?


Among the Disbelievers

How does the “radical other”—the unbeliever, and not merely the wayward Abrahamic cousin—figure in Islamic discourses on toleration and coercion?