UIC Institute for the Humanities

Conferences


“Shari'a and Halakha in America”
April 15-16, 2013

Islamic religious law — shari'a — has come under fierce attack in recent years, as a system that threatens American freedoms.  More quietly, there has been an attempt in San Francisco to ban circumcision, a ritual central to both Jewish and Muslim law, and bans on both Jewish and Muslim modes of slaughtering animals have been enacted in a number of European countries.  Indisputably, prejudice and hatred have played a large role in motivating these developments, but they have also raised some deep questions -- often untreated in media accounts -- about how liberal democracies can and should accommodate legal systems that are not themselves originally grounded on liberal or democratic principles.  One can pose a similar question from the opposite perspective: to what degree can systems of this sort adapt themselves to a liberal democratic environment?  This conference will explore these questions, as they pertain to both shari'a and Jewish law (halacha), from a variety of angles.  It will address the challenges faced by both Jewish and Muslim legal systems, and invite people from the two traditions to learn from one another's experience.  Speakers include professors of law and religion, some of whom have served on Jewish or Muslim courts, as well as journalists and activists.  We hope to help spark a richer, better informed public discussion of these issues than they have, thus far, generally received.

Please Note:

MONDAY, April 15, 2013
Location: IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, 565 West Adams, Chicago IL. 

TUESDAY, April 16, 2013
Location:
 
Institute for the Humanities, lower level Stevenson Hall, 701 South Morgan, University of Illinois at Chicago 


This conference is free and open to the public.
(Registration Closed)

Conference Schedule:

MONDAY, April 15, 2013

Location: IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, 565 West Adams, Chicago IL.
For Information on location or parking contact: (312) 906-5000


9:00 - 9:15 a.m. - Opening remarks by Dean Krent, IIT Chicago-Kent Law School


9:15-11:45 a.m. - Religious Law in a secular State(I)

Timothy D. Lytton, Albert and Angela Farone Distinguished Professor of Law, Albany Law School
"Presentation title to be announced”

Michael Helfand, Associate Professor, Pepperdine School of Law; Associate Director, Glazer Institute for Jewish Studies
“Between Law and Religion: Procedural Challenges to Religious Arbitration Awards”


12:00 - 1:00 p.m. - Lunch

1:15-3:45 p.m. - On Being a Religious Minority in a Liberal Democracy

Mustafa Baig, Lecturer in Islamic Studies, University of Manchester
“Operating Islamic Jurisprudence in a non-Muslim State”

David Novak,
Professor of the Study of Religion and Professor of Philosophy, University of Toronto
“How Can Law-Abiding Jews Participate in Liberal Democracy?”

Eboo Patel,
Founder and President, Interfaith Youth Core and Member of President Obama's Inaugural Faith Council
“How to be an American Muslim: Religious Community and National Pluralism in an Age of Islamophobia”


3:45-4:00 p.m. - Coffee Break



4:00 -5:30 p.m. - KEYNOTE LECTURE: 

Michael Broyde, Professor of Law, Emory University;  Former Director and currently Dayan (judge), Beth Din of America
"Suggestions for Shari'a Courts based on the Precedent of the Beth Din of America."


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TUESDAY, April 16, 2013
Location:
Institute for the Humanities, lower level Stevenson Hall, 701 South Morgan, University of Illinois at Chicago
For Information on location and parking, contact: (312) 996-6352


8:30 a.m. - Breakfast


8:45 -9:00 a.m. - Remarks by Dean Tantillo, Universtiy of Illinois at Chicago


9:00-11:30 a.m. - The Anti-Shari'a Movement in America

Samuel Freedman, New York Times columnist;  professor at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
“Religious Law as a Wedge Issue: The Shari'a Scare in American Politics”

Wajahat Ali, Playwright, Attorney, New media journalist
"Manufacturing Fear: Anti Shari'a Legislation as a Solution in Search of a Problem"

Nadia Marzouki, Research Fellow, Religiowest programme, RCSAS, European University Institute
“The Anti-Shari'a movement in the U.S.: Anti-Islam or Anti-globalization?"



11:30-12:30 p.m. - Lunch


12:30-2:45 p.m. - Religious Law in a Secular State (II)

Lena Salaymeh, Robbins Post-Doctoral Fellow, UC Berkeley School of Law
“Inventing ‘Religious Law’ in the United States”

Asher Lopatin
, Rabbi, Anshe Shalom;  incoming President of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah
“Creative Interpretation in Halacha and Shari'a: What is the Definition of Public Prayer?”

Charlotte Elisheva Fonrobert
, Associate Professor, Religious Studies, Stanford University
“The American Eruv: Halakha in Public Space”



2:45 - 3:00 p.m. - Coffee Break



3:00 - 4:30 p.m. - KEYNOTE LECTURE:

Mohammed Fadel, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto
"Religious Law, Family Law and Arbitration" 

This conference is free and open to the public.
(Registration Closed)

For more information: http://huminst.las.uic.edu/ifth/events/conferences
312-996-6354, huminst@uic.edu

CO-SPONSoRS

IIT Chicago-Kent Law School with support from the jack Miller Center
The Jewish-Muslim Initiative, University of Illinois-Chicago
Institute for the Humanities, University of Illinois-Chicago

ORGANIZERS

Samuel Fleischacker, Professor of Philosophy, University of Illinois at Chicago
Junaid Quadri, Assistant Professor of History, University of Illinois at Chicago
Mark D. Rosen, Professor of Law, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law

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map pinpoint Visit Us:
Institute for the Humanities (MC206)
701 South Morgan, Lower Level / Stevenson Hall
Chicago, IL 60607-7040

Phone (312) 996-6352   Fax (312) 996-2938
Email huminst@uic.edu
Download Map of our Location (PDF)