The Rumi Forum presented “Crescent & Dove: Peace and Conflict Resolution in Islam” with Qamar-ul Huda


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In the face of overwhelming attention to extremist movements and the fundamentalist Islam they often espouse, exploration of peacemaking and conflict resolution in Muslim communities is especially timely. Crescent and Dove looks at the relationship between contemporary Islam and peacemaking by tackling the diverse interpretations, concepts, and problems in the field of Islamic peacemaking.

Although Islamic law requires followers to preserve and protect life, and peacemaking efforts arise in Muslim communities everywhere, those who advocate for Islamic principles of nonviolence and peacebuilding, as well as traditional methods of conflict resolution, face serious challenges. Writing from their perspective as Muslim scholars and peacebuilding practitioners, the contributors offer critical perspectives on what works, what opportunities exist, and what areas are fertile for effective peacebuilding efforts. Their experience and analysis demonstrate that fostering a culture of peace in Muslim communities and building effective conflict resolution practices must occur within an Islamic framework and must engage Muslim leaders.

Crescent and Dove addresses both theory and practice by delving into the intellectual heritage of Islam to discuss historical examples of addressing conflict in Islam and exploring the practical challenges of contemporary peacemaking in Arab countries, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, and Indonesia. These groundbreaking essays offer possibilities for nonviolent interventions, peacemaking, the implementation of human rights, the reinterpretation of texts, peace education instruction, and employing successful mediation, negotiation, and conflict resolution skills in an Islamic context.

Qamar-ul Huda is a scholar of Islam and Senior Program Officer in the Religion and Peacemaking Program. He recently edited book, The Crescent and Dove: Peace and Conflict Resolution in Islam (USIP Press, 2010) provides a critical analysis of nonviolent strategies and peace building efforts in Muslim communities. His specialty is Middle Eastern history, Islamic ethics, religion and violence, conflict resolution and non-violence in Islam. His current research examines comparative Sunni-Shi’ite interpretations of social justice, ethics, and reconciliation. This is building on his earlier work on the production of religious knowledge, the diversity of religious interpretations and practices in Striving for Divine Union: Spiritual Exercises for Suhrawardi Sufis (Routledge). Huda has served as the special guest editor to The Journal of Peacebuilding and Development and The Muslim World Journal. He has published articles on comparative ethics, inter-faith dialogue, religious and peace building. He is serving as an adjunct associate professor at Georgetown University’s Conflict Resolution Program, and served as assistant professors at Boston College and Brandeis University. He earned his doctorate from UCLA in Islamic intellectual history, earned his B.A. from Colgate University, and studied in Islamic seminaries overseas.

Moderator :

Dr. S. Ayse Kadayifci-Orellana is currently Assistant Professor in the field of Peace and Conflict Resolution at the School of International Service at American University, Washington D.C. She is also the one of the founding members and the Associate Director of Salam Institute for Peace and Justice, a non-profit organization for research, education, and practice on issues related to conflict resolution, nonviolence, and development with a focus on bridging differences between Muslim and non-Muslim communities. She received her PhD from American University’s School of International Service in Washington DC in 2002 with a Master’s degree in Conflict Analysis from University of Kent in Canterbury, England.
In addition to teaching, lecturing and publishing extensively in the fields of ‘religion and peace building,’ ‘cross-cultural conflict resolution and mediation’, ‘interfaith and intra-faith dialogues’ ‘peacebuilding and development’, ‘Islamic sources of conflict resolution’, ‘Muslim peace building actors in Africa and the Balkans’ and ‘education in the Islamic world’, among others, Dr. Kadayifci-Orellana has facilitated dialogues and conflict resolution workshops between Israelis and Palestinian, conducted Islamic conflict resolution training workshops to imams and Muslim youth leaders in the United States, organized and participated in interfaith and intra-Muslim dialogues, and organized and participated in the first American-Muslim Delegation to Iran in November 2007.