The Ulama, the Modern State, and the Arab Revolutions: A Discussion with Dr. Usaama Al-Azami and Ismail Royer
On January 20, 2022 at 3pm EST, RFI’s Islam and Religious Action Action Team will hold an event that will be livestreamed on RFI’s website, YouTube channel, Facebook page.
Ismail Royer, Director of RFI’s Islam and Religious Freedom Action Team, and Dr. Usaama al-Azami, Departmental Lecturer in Contemporary Islamic Studies at the University of Oxford, will undertake what promises to be a lively discussion about Dr. al-Azami’s new book, Islam and the Arab Revolutions: The Ulama Between Democracy and Autocracy. In the book, Dr. al-Azami traces the public engagements and religious pronouncements of several prominent ulama in the region, including Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Ali Gomaa, and Abdallah bin Bayyah, to explore their role in either championing or opposing the Arab revolutions. Dr. al-Azami concludes that while a minority of noted scholars have enthusiastically endorsed the counter-revolutions, their approach is attributable less to premodern theology and more to their distinctly modern commitment to the authoritarian state.