Press release 6th December 2012
The upcoming conference will debate the compatibility of contemporary Evolutionary science and the Islamic faith, bringing together a variety of scientific and theological perspectives.
The Deen Institute proudly announces its first ‘Dialogue within Islam’ event. The conference entitled: Have Muslims Misunderstood Evolution? will for the first time in the UK witness prominent Muslims tackling the controversial topic of evolution in a public forum.
The all-day conference will be held on Saturday 5th January 2013 at the Logan Hall, London.
“Dialogue within Islam” events seek to engage with challenging ideas of concern to Muslims, in a setting that allows for critical dialogue.
Historically, Muslims have held conflicting opinions on the theory of evolution and whether science and Islamic theology share a point of convergence. In recent years, a polarised debate on the topic has left many Muslims confused as to what Islam does, or doesn’t say, about human evolution.
The Deen Institute will therefore provide a platform to different viewpoints so that the topic might be debated and examined in an honest, respectful and tolerant environment.
The panel of Muslim theologians, speakers and scientists discussing the issue will include: Shaykh Yasir Qadhi, Resident Scholar at Memphis Islamic Centre and Lecturer in Rhodes College (USA); Dr Usama Hasan, Imam at the Masjid al-Tawhid Mosque in Leyton (UK); Professor Fatima Jackson, Professor of Biological Anthropology and Director of the Institute of African-American Research (USA); Professor Ehab Abouheif, is Canada Research Chair in Evolutionary Biology at McGill University (Canada) and Dr Oktar Babuna, a leading speaker with the Harun Yahya movement (Turkey).
The conference will elucidate the issue of human evolution from an Islamic viewpoint, in order to provide the audience with a clear understanding of the points of convergence between contemporary scientific theories and Islamic theology.
What: Have Muslims Misunderstood Evolution?
Where: Logan Hall, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL
When: Saturday 5th Jan 2013, 10am – 6pm.
For enquires or press passes, contact:
The 1st July 2012 saw The Deen Institute's debut presentation, “Reviving the Muslim Mind”, at the 49th annual Federation of Student Islamic Societies conference, held this year at the University of Manchester. After running several well-received fringe sessions on the second day of the conference, with a highly encouraging turnout, the Institute made its inaugural address to an audience of hundreds of students, with the topic of discussion proving to resonate with many in the audience.
"Very professional, intellectual & competent. An important initiative for shaping discourse around our community and educating." Mr Ahmed Gatnash, Vice President of Newcastle University Islamic Society.
The fringe sessions, lecture and stimulating Q&A session, proved highly successful with an overwhelmingly positive response from enthusiastic students looking to get involved in the Institute’s upcoming courses commencing October 2012.
"I found it to be the most engaging, interesting and urgent Islamic discussion I have heard. I am dismayed not to have heard of it before today. InshaAllah I will find out more about it with a view to becoming involved, and maybe hosting an event at York. I am a Muslim student of English literature who has been trying to grapple with philosophy alone and without Islamic guidance. I am sure that I am far from the only one in this position. I believe this organisation has potential to be of immense benefit to Muslim students in the UK, and would like to volunteer in any way possible." Mr Ahmed Madi, Welfare Officer of University of York Islamic Society.
Ramsha Jamal | The Deen Institute | 13 August 2012 |
As people of faith, Muslims often struggle to find balance between the intellectual and ethical principles contained within their faith and the demands of the modern world. The Deen Institute aims to contribute to “articulating faith in a contemporary world”, helping to equip students with the necessary tools to arrive at an informed perspective in their relationship with all facets of modern life. As an organisation, it seeks to articulate faith, not in spite of, but through scientific inquiry, critical thinking and logical reasoning, reviving intellectuality among modern Muslims.
Adam Deen, Co-Founder and Director of the Institute, explains: “People of faith are viewed in some quarters as uneducated, blindly and unquestioningly following outmoded ideologies, which they have not chosen, but rather inherited. The Deen Institute is about challenging that view, about emphasising that faith is the result of rigorous critical thinking and intellectual thought.”
Through dialogue and discussion, The Deen Institute aims to foster engagement with society and contribute to highlighting the fact that Islam is as relevant today as it was fourteen hundred years ago.
The institute will provide academic courses, devised and taught by qualified and experienced instructors, aimed at bridging the gap between the precepts of the faith as enshrined in their historical context and their application to the contemporary era. Courses will center on ethics, philosophy, history and science, and the Institute will also host forums, roundtables and debates aimed at challenging prevailing assumptions. The contents will be summarized in regular publications and online.
The Deen Institute considers the Qur’an and the example of the Prophet Muhammad (the Sunnah) to be the ethical benchmark in the elaboration of an enlightened philosophy and this premise will be reflected in the organisation’s work. However, the Institute is not exclusive to any particular Muslim group or perspective and features eminent scholars from all backgrounds. It also welcomes students from all faiths or none.
The Deen Institute seeks to provide a platform from which shared concerns and questions can be openly discussed and examined, in an atmosphere of respect, civility and mutual understanding.
The institute’s launch event, “Reviving the Muslim Mind”, will take place during the 49th Annual FOSIS Conference at the University of Manchester between 30th June and 1st July 2012. Here, the institute’s thought provoking lectures and fringe sessions will be aimed at students, enabling them to become effective ambassadors of their faith.
“Our Islamic heritage is rich with examples of Muslims who were way ahead of their time. Early Islamic thinkers prided themselves in being at the forefront of scientific and philosophical thought,” continues Yusuf Ahmet, Director of Operations. “So why don’t we?”
Fatima Ewas & Ramsha Jamal | The Deen Institute | 22 June 2012 |