Canaries in a Coal Mine: Islamophobia Threatens All Americans

September 07 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Mayser Gymnasium

Jonathan Brown, Ph.D.
Alwaleed bin Talal Chair of Islamic Civilization in the School of Foreign Service, Director of the Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim Christian Understanding, Georgetown University, Director of Hadith Research, Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research

The portrayal of Muslims and other minorities has led many to be confused about Muslims, Islam, and other minority groups, who are at the receiving-end of discrimination and prejudice in this country. However, discrimination not only affects marginalized groups, but affects all Americans whether or not we realize it, and only perpetuates fear and misunderstandings of the ‘other’. Dr. Brown’s presentation will address not only Islamophobia, but other forms of discrimination that takes place--whether it is at your local grocery store or on campus--and how education alone will not work to change the current situation. Dr. Brown’s talk will shed light unto how Islamophobia--or any other type of marginalization -- is detrimental to a pluralistic society and in addressing broader issues plaguing our society. Dr. Brown will speak on how, especially as Americans, it is essential that we have the same fervor our Founding Fathers envisioned towards respecting and ensuring our inalienable rights and freedoms -- for all.  

Jonathan Brown is the Alwaleed bin Talal Chair of Islamic Civilization in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, and he is the Director of the Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim Christian Understanding.  He is also currently the Director of Hadith Research at the Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research in Dallas, Texas. He received his BA in History from Georgetown University in 2000 and his doctorate in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago in 2006. Dr. Brown has studied and conducted research in countries such as Egypt, Syria, Turkey, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, South Africa, India, Indonesia and Iran.

His book publications include The Canonization of al-Bukhari and Muslim: The Formation and Function of the Sunni Hadith Canon (Brill, 2007), Hadith: Muhammad’s Legacy in the Medieval and Modern World (Oneworld, 2009) and Muhammad: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2011), which was selected for the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Bridging Cultures Muslim Journeys Bookshelf.

His most recent book, Misquoting Muhammad: The Challenges and Choices of Interpreting the Prophet’s Legacy (Oneworld, 2014), was named one of the top books on religion in 2014 by the Independent. He has published articles in the fields of Hadith, Islamic law, Salafism, Sufism, Arabic lexical theory and Pre-Islamic poetry and is the editor in chief of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Law. Dr. Brown’s current research interests include Islamic legal reform and a translation of Sahih al-Bukhari.

This event was proposed by senior Sarah Hafiz and is sponsored by the Miller Humanities Fund and the Department of Africana Studies.

Common Hour enables the entire Franklin & Marshall College community to gather for culturally and academically enriching events at midday each Thursday during the academic year. This opportunity to engage in a campus-wide dialogue originates with Common Hour and then extends beyond the confines of 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. into classrooms, house commons, dining halls and beyond.