Omar_Saif_GhobashHis Excellency Omar Saif Ghobash, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to Russia, will discuss the conflict within Islam and offer an unorthodox perspective on some of the developments of the modern Arab world. Is ISIS a true expression of Islam or is it what extremists bring to Islam that causes it to be so violent? If Islamic religious authorities were responsive to the modern needs of individual Muslims, what might the religion look like?

A growing number of Muslims, affected by the current public presentation of Islam, wants to know how they can be moderate Muslims and good Muslims. This lecture will attempt to outline possible approaches to resolving this identity crisis; less concerned with the rituals that have no ethical content. Ambassador Ghobash will address certain moral/ethical principles that can and should provide guidance in everyday life. The traditional institutions of Islam produce norms that serve small minorities – both radical and moderate. Non-traditional thinkers must enter this battle of ideas and knives by responding to the 21st century crises faced by Arab and Muslim youth and by enunciating and clarifying the ideas and rights of Islam’s moderate population.

Date : 12 december 2014, Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS)