Professor Mohammad Khalil scrutinises the claim by New Atheists like Richard Dawkins that Islam is a fundamentally violent religion
Is Islam fundamentally violent? For influential New Atheists such as Sam Harris, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and Richard Dawkins, the answer is an emphatic yes, largely because of the Islamic doctrine of jihad. According to this view, when al-Qaeda plotted 9/11 or ISIS planned any one of its recent terrorist attacks, they were acting in accord with Islamic scripture. In this presentation, Mohammad Hassan Khalil will scrutinize this claim by comparing the conflicting interpretations of jihad offered by mainstream Muslim scholars, violent Muslim radicals, and New Atheists.
Mohammad Hassan Khalil is a Professor of Religious Studies, an adjunct Professor of Law, and the Director of the Muslim Studies Program at Michigan State University. Before returning to his hometown of East Lansing, Michigan, he was an Assistant Professor of Religion and visiting professor of Law at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He specializes in Islamic thought and is author of Islam and the Fate of Others: The Salvation Question (Oxford University Press, 2012; Indonesian translation published in 2016) and Jihad, Radicalism, and the New Atheism (Cambridge University Press, 2017); editor of Between Heaven and Hell: Islam, Salvation, and the Fate of Others (Oxford University Press, 2013) and Muslims and US Politics Today: A Defining Moment (ILEX and Harvard University Press, 2019); and lead investigator of the Muslims of the Midwest digital archive (muslimsofthemidwest.org). He has presented papers at various national and international conferences and has published peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters on various topics, from early Islamic historiography to bioethics.
Speaker: Professor Mohammad Khalil (Michigan State University, USA)
Chair: Professor Eugene Rogan (University of Oxford)
Recorded Friday, 14 October 2022, Investcorp Lecture Theatre, St Antony's College