Tuesday, December 14, 2021
Register here: https://ticketing.spoletousa.org/5137/5139
The story of West African Muslims in the United States does not begin or end with Omar Ibn Said. While Said’s autobiography shares a remarkable first-hand account, the enslaved Muslim experience in America was not monolithic. During this talk, panelists Dr. Muhammad Fraser-Rahim (Professor, The Citadel) and Okolo Rashid (Co-Founder, President, and CEO, International Museum of Muslim Cultures) will discuss the lives and faith of several enslaved African Muslims, such as Ibrahima Abdur Rahman and Ayuba Suleiman Diallo—both princes in their homelands—and Salih Bilali and Bilali Mohammed, who worshipped along Georgia’s coastal islands. Discover these figures’ shared and disparate histories, cultural practices, and legacies left behind.
Spoleto’s ongoing discussion series returns with a new focus and expanded scope. More On That Now will cover a wide range of topics drawing inspiration from themes found in the upcoming 2022 Festival program and the broader artistic industry. Expert panelists will gather virtually and address the arts’ connection and intersection with religion, education, social justice, and identity politics. Dr. Hussein Rashid—an educator and academic whose research focuses on Muslim and American pop culture—will serve as the series-long moderator.
The official description is:
History is written by the victors is a famous phrase, but rarely do we dig into what it actually means and its consequences for how we understand who we are. Aymann speaks with two academics who are teaching the rest of us to resist the neat and convenient historical narratives we learned in school .
Hussein Rashid, PhD, is a freelance academic based in New York City, on the land of the Lenape people. His work focuses on religion in US popular culture, and Shi’i theologies of justice. He was the lead content consultant for the Children’s Museum of Manhattan’s exhibitAmerica to Zanzibar: Muslim Cultures Near and Far, an executive producer on the New York Times op-docSecret History of Muslims in the US, and is an executive producer on the documentary projectAmerican Muslims: A History Revealed.
Nikki Sanchez is a Pipil and Irish/Scottish academic, Indigenous media maker, and environmental educator. Her TEDx presentation is entitled “Decolonization is for Everyone”, and she is the creator and director of "Decolonize Together", a collective of Indigenous and Black women who offer decolonial and inclusivity workshops and curriculum creation. In May of 2020, Nikki's first book, an anthology of the Salish Sea Resident Orca whales was released by the Royal BC Museum publisher, it has remained on the BC bestsellers list ever since.
And the audio is here:
And they made me this lovely cartoon:
In the context of the US population, I am a statistic. I fill a whole bunch of categories if you want to play human bingo. My parents migrated from Tanzania, in East Africa, and I’m ethnically South Asian. I get to be even more specific, because I’m an Isma’ili Shi’ah Muslim. That means I’m a religious minority, in a religious minority, in a religious minority.
Born in Manhattan, and growing up in Queens, New York, I wasn’t different. Everyone was different to everyone else. That was the norm. Then we moved to Long Island, and it was a different beast. Suddenly, my status as a “statistic” was glaring. In our new home, you needed to fit into categories, and people didn’t know or understand my categories. Thankfully, I found my escape in the world of speculative fiction that comics offered me. When I first picked up comics in the 80s, I wasn’t thinking about representation. I was more focused on learning how to be like the Super Heroes I loved, different. Like most folks then, looking for something similar, I found the X-Men. Cyclops is still my man, and the fact that Jay Edidin recently made him canonically neuroatypical makes him even more dear to me, especially as someone who was diagnosed with ADD as an adult.
Ali ibn Abi Talib is arguably is one of the most important spiritual and intellectual authority in Islam after prophet Mohammad. Through his teachings and leadership as fourth caliph, Ali nourished Islam; but Muslims are divided on whether he was supposed to be Mohammad’s political successor, and he continues to be a polarizing figure in Islamic history.
Hassan Abbas provides a nuanced, compelling portrait of this towering yet divisive figure and the origins of sectarian division within Islam. Abbas reveals how Ali assumed the spiritual mantle of Islam to spearhead the movement that the prophet had led. While Ali’s teachings about wisdom, justice, and selflessness continue to be cherished by both Shia and Sunni Muslims, his pluralist ideas have been buried under sectarian agendas and power politics. Today, Abbas argues, Ali’s legacy and message stands against that of ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and Taliban.