Dr. Abdullah bin Hamid Ali, a professor at Zaytuna College and the founder of the Lamppost Education Initiative, is considered by some as ‘controversial’ in matters relating to race and racism. On social media, Dr. Ali’s views have been criticized and attacked by some Muslims as ‘conservative.’ Some see his opinions about race as “dangerous” to Muslims in America.
Imam Marc Manley is also no stranger to controversial and thought-provoking views on race as it relates to the Muslim community. We have asked Imam Marc and Dr. Abdullah to engage in a conversation on Black Lives Matter and the concept of systemic racism.
Several important questions will be asked: Does Dr. Ali’s views on racism, systemic racism, and critical race theory constitute a violation of Islamic principles and beliefs? Is American ‘Conservatism’ totally incompatible with Islam? How can we possibly follow Islamic dictates of ‘standing with the oppressed’ with any criticism of the Black Lives Matter movement? And much more.
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Dr. Abdullah bin Hamid Ali
He holds a Ph.D. in Cultural and Historical Studies in Religion (2016) and an M.A. in Ethics and Social Theory (2012) from the Graduate Theological Union. He obtained his B.A. (ijaza ‘ulya) in Islamic Law (Shariah) from the prestigious Al-Qarawiyin University of Fes, Morocco in 2001. He served as full time Islamic chaplain at the State Correctional Institute of Chester, PA from 2002-2007, and is the founding director of the Lamppost Education Initiative. He currently serves as an Associate Professor of Islamic law and Prophetic Tradition at Zaytuna College in Berkeley, California. His research interests include the interconnection between law and identity formation, comparative Islamic law, and Islam’s role in the modern world.
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