The College of Islamic Studies (CIS) at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) has jointly hosted the Fourth International Conference on the Muslim Ummah with the Centre for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA) at Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University, Turkey.
The theme of this year’s conference, held online from December 12-18, was “Governance and Political Authority in the Muslim World: Examining Theory and Practice”. The conference aimed to examine issues of political governance and authority from a fresh perspective, returning to fundamental questions around leadership without authoritarianism and despotism.
Dr Emad El-Din Shahin, interim provost of HBKU and dean of CIS, delivered the conference’s opening remarks, while on day six, Dr Louay M Safi, professor of Political Science and Islamic Thought at CIS, gave a presentation on Good Governance in Muslim Societies: The Institutionalisation of Values and Demarcation of Authority.
The conference explored new models of sovereignty which balance modern ideas of citizenship and the rule of law and democracy with traditional values. Ultimately, the gathering of distinguished speakers and a wide range of scholars sought meaningful answers related to political power and governance across modern Muslim societies. In analysing case studies of political governance in different Muslim countries, the conference attempted to present practical responses to highly challenging questions, including the role of political elites, the idea of community, and the imperative of a genuine political revival project across the Muslim world.
Dr Shahin said, “We were delighted to once again join hands with CIGA at Istanbul Zaim University to organise the fourth edition of the conference, in keeping with our aim at CIS to promote dialogue and understanding based on knowledge. Each year, this forum brings to the fore contemporary issues surrounding the Muslim Ummah and, in the fourth edition, found meaningful ways to promote scholarly discourse on governance and political power in Muslim societies. We are hopeful that a better understanding of newer models and solutions will emerge from such vital exchanges, which we will take forward through our research and academic programmes at CIS.”