Original Source: http://www.qatar-tribune.com
THE Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar hosted Imam Yahya Hendi as part of a lecture series at the Museum of Islamic Art on Tuesday.
The community lecture series entitled, ‘A Journey with Islam in the 21st Century’ is sponsored by Georgetown’s Center for International and Regional Studies (CIRS).
Hendi is the Muslim chaplain at Georgetown University, the first American university to hire a full-time Muslim chaplain.
He spoke on ethics, human rights, social justice, women and gender in Islam.
“I challenge Muslims, asking them to produce a new agenda to understand and apply their faith by honouring and respecting the authentic texts while responding to new scientific discoveries and modern realities,” said Hendi.
“Ethics moves us beyond the spiritual to the practicality of how to be a good human being,” he added.
The event was held in the Education Center of the Museum of Islamic Art, underlining Georgetown Qatar’s continuing partnership with the museum, where around 50 members of the Doha community gathered to discuss Hendi’s latest research in the country over the two days of lectures.
During his first presentation entitled ‘The Paradigms of Islamic Ethics, Human Rights and Social Justice’ on Monday, Hendi examined the sources and foundations of the characteristics of binding ethics for Muslims, general ethical guidelines, values and their application in modern society with regards to human rights, environmental responsibility, global engagement and governance.
Hendi said that Islam guarantees certain human rights to all people, including the right to live, the right to safety and security of life, the right to freedom and justice, the right to protest against tyranny and the freedom of expression, association and religious rights.
He also emphasised the high ethical values of justice, compassion, moderation and balanced consideration of the needs of the community and the individual.
Throughout his presentation, Hendi challenged the audience with questions designed to connect philosophy and spirituality with the realities of everyday life.
“Can we claim that the theory of ‘just war’ still exists? Should Muslims be advocating for equal representation of women in government? Are we acting as ‘Qadhafi’ or ‘Hosni Mubarak’ in our own home, workplace or community?” Hendi asked.
Hendi closed his first lecture by encouraging the audience to stand up against injustice, stand for the protection of human rights and to be a voice for the voiceless.
On Tuesday, Hendi delivered a second lecture entitled, ‘Women and Gender in the Islamic Religious Texts and Culture’ in which he examined Muslim texts to reflect upon the role of women in society, condemn violence against women and advocate for equal educational access across genders among other topics.
Hendi has written numerous publications on many topics, including women in Islam, women and gender relations, the second coming of the Messiah, Islam and biomedical ethics and religion and Islam in the US.
CIRS’s Monthly Dialogue Series are designed to present community members with a forum for thoughtful dialogue with scholars on their latest academic endeavours and their research agendas.
Each month a member of Georgetown faculty discusses his or her latest work with community members.