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Islam and the Choice of Liberalism

Thursday, April 9, 2015 at 5:00pm to 6:30pm

Goldwin Smith Hall, Lewis Auditorium
232 East Ave, Central Campus

The Islamic Alliance for Justice presents 

Islam and the Choice of Liberalism - Lecture by Joseph Massad followed by a Q&A session

Thursday April 9th 5:00 - 6:30PM
G72 Lewis Auditorium Goldwin Smith Hall

In the popular imagination, Islam is often associated with words like oppression, totalitarianism, intolerance, cruelty, misogyny, and homophobia, while its presumed antonyms are Christianity, the West, liberalism, individualism, freedom, citizenship, and democracy. In the most alarmist views, the West’s most cherished values—freedom, equality, and tolerance—are said to be endangered by Islam worldwide. In light of ongoing Islamophobic attacks in the West, Joseph Massad will explore what Islam has come to signify in a world where Europe and America present liberalism as a type of salvation to an ‘unenlightened’ Islam.

JOSEPH MASSAD is Professor of Modern Arab Politics and Intellectual History at Columbia University. He is the author of four books and numerous academic articles. His books include Colonial Effects: The Making of National Identity in Jordan, The Persistence of the Palestinian Question, Desiring Arabs which won the Lionnel Trilling Award, and Islam in Liberalism. Professor Massad is also a regular contributor of articles and op-eds to Al-Jazeera English website, the Al-Ahram Weekly based in Cairo, the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar among others. His books and articles have been translated to many languages including Arabic, French, German, Japanese, Turkish, Persian, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, and Dutch.


The Minority, Indigenous, and Third World Studies Research Group (MITWS-RG), Cornell
Department of History
Department of Near Eastern Studies
Africana Studies and Research Center
Cornell University Programming Board (CUPB)
Cornell International Students Union - ISU
Muslim Law Students Association
Cornell University's South Asian Council (SAC)
APAA | Asian Pacific Americans for Action at Cornell University
Native American Students at Cornell (NASAC)
Cornell Asian Pacific Islander Student Union (CAPSU)
Muslim Educational and Cultural Association (MECA)
La Asociación Latina, LAL
Black Students United at Cornell University (BSU)
MEChA de Cornell

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Event Type


Islamic Alliance for Justice
Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

Omar Khurshid

Contact Phone



Joseph Massad

Speaker Affiliation

Columbia University

Disability Access Information

Our Accessibility Statement: For disability accommodations, please contact Omar Khurshid at or at 607-319-9704 as soon as possible. Advance notice is necessary to arrange for some accessibility needs. Goldwin Smith Hall is primarily accessible from its north and south entry. If you take the north entry proximate to Lincoln Hall, the room is immediately on your right as you enter the building. If you enter from the south entry by Stimson and Day Hall, you enter the building, take the elevator in the middle of the building down one floor and take a left out of the elevator and the room is at the end of the hall on the left.

Open To

The Public

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