An Islamist Critique of ISIS-Dr Sherman Jackson

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In this fascinating lecture, Dr. Sherman Jackson seeks to step outside of the restrictive frameworks and language posed by current western critiques of ISIS. To accomplish this, Dr. Jackson takes a look at the assessments of ISIS, Al-Qa’idah, and other groups from members of  Egypt’s al-Gama’ah al-Islamiyah, a group said to be responsible for the assassination of former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.  After years of violent uprisings against the Egyptian government, al-Gama’ah al-Islamiyah issued a surprising renunciation of violence, repudiating its former ideology and replacing it with a shari‘ah-based understanding and assessment of the purpose and proper application of jihad.

sjacksonSherman A. Jackson holds the King Faisal Chair in Islamic Thought and Culture and is professor of religion and American studies and ethnicity at the University of Southern California.

He was formerly the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Near Eastern Studies and Visiting Professor of Law and Professor of Afro-American Studies at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor).

Dr. Jackson received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and has taught at the University of Texas at Austin, Indiana University, Wayne State University and the University of Michigan. From 1987 to 1989, he served as Executive Director of the Center of Arabic Study Abroad in Cairo, Egypt. He is the author of several books, including Islamic Law and the State: The Constitutional Jurisprudence of Shihâb al-Dîn al-Qarâfî (E.J. Brill, 1996), On the Boundaries of Theological Tolerance in Islam: Abû Hâmid al-Ghazâlî’s Faysal al-Tafriqa (Oxford, 2002), Islam and the Blackamerican: Looking Towards the Third Resurrection (Oxford, 2005) Islam and the Problem of Black Suffering (Oxford, 2009), and most recently Sufism for Non-Sufis? Ibn ‘Ata’ Allah al-Sakandari’s Taj al-’Arus (Oxford, 2012).

Dr. Jackson is a co-founder, Core Scholar, and member of the Board of Trustees of the American Learning Institute for Muslims (ALIM), an academic institution where scholars, professionals, activists, artists, writers, and community leaders come together to develop strategies for the future of Islam in the modern world.

Additionally, Dr. Jackson is a former member of the Fiqh Council of North America, former Presdient of the Shari’ah Scholars’ Association of North America (SSANA) and a past trustee of the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT). He has contributed to several publications including the Washington Post-Newsweek blog, On Faith, and the Huffington Post. Dr. Jackson is listed by the Religion Newswriters Foundation’s ReligionLink as among the top ten experts on Islam in America and was named among the 500 most influential Muslims in the world by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center in Amman, Jordan and the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding.

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