WASHINGTON, April 23, 2013 – AIC and Project Nur present the third dialogue in the “Science and Islam” series tomorrow at The George Washington University. This dialogue, entitled Religious Orthodoxy and the Battle for Rationality, will explore the ongoing clash between orthodoxy and modern science and the probable future of science in Islam.

Panelists Dr. Pervez Amirali Hoodbhoy, Dr. Asad Q. Ahmed and Dr. Omar Sultan Haque will discuss the establishments of scientific and religious truths, as well as interpretations of the Quran that seek to create consistency between Islam and modern science. Dr. Ahmed explains the importance of the subject saying, “Both science and religion determine how humans think about reality and how their self-consciousness and perceptions of others are shaped. In other words, both are fundamentally important to human experience. If there is real or perceived clash between the two, the exclusive and overlapping domains of both have to be investigated.”

The Science & Islam series aims to prompt discussion about the intersections of faith and science. Panelist Dr. Haque praised the series for, “its potential to engage crucial questions about the present and ideal place for rationality, evidence, authority, consensus, trust, imagination, and social forces in the formation of knowledge in both the philosophy of science and Islamic history and theology.”

What: Religious Orthodoxy and the Battle for Rationality

When: 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Where: City View Room, GWU Elliott School of International Affairs


  • Dr. Pervez Amirali Hoodbhoy is professor of nuclear and high energy physics, and teaches at Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad. Over a period of 25 years, Dr. Hoodbhoy created and anchored a series of television programs that dissected the problems of Pakistan’s education system, and two other series that aimed at bringing scientific concepts to ordinary members of the public. He is the author of “Islam and Science – Religious Orthodoxy and the Battle for Rationality,” now in 8 languages.  Keynote Speaker
  • Dr. Asad Q. Ahmed is Associate Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies in the Department of Near Eastern Studies, The University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Ahmed specializes in early Islamic social history and Islamic intellectual history, with a special focus on the rationalist sciences.  He has authored several books and published numerous articles in the fields of Islamic rationalism, including philosophy, logic, and theology, in international journals and collected volumes.
  • Dr. Omar Sultan Haque is a psychologist, physician, and philosopher, and an Instructor and Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University and in the Program in Psychiatry and the Law at Harvard Medical School.  He is a co-Director of the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics, American Unit.  His research investigates empirical as well as normative questions at the intersections of psychology, medicine, religion, and philosophy.
  • Dr. Muhammad H. Faghfoory is professor of Islamic Studies at the George Washington University where he teaches courses on Islam, Sufism, Islamic Art and Spirituality, Islamic Philosophy and Theology, Islamic Political thought, and Shi‘ite Islam and other related courses. He has lectured extensively in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East, and participated in interfaith dialogue organized by American media. Currently, he is working on a book on Clergy-State Relations in Iran: 1979 – present. Moderator

Science and Islam is a series of dialogues analyzing the intersection of Islamic faith and science. These dialogues, which address issues like creation, evolution and extraterrestrial life, are held at college campuses across the country and feature a panel of prominent Muslim scientists. Visit http://aic.craftedenterprises.com/programs/science-and-islam for more information or to register for the next Science and Islam event.

Project Nur is a student-led initiative of the American Islamic Congress. It includes students from various backgrounds, cultures and faiths to work together on human rights and civil rights initiatives. Visit http://aic.craftedenterprises.com/project-nur/ for more additional information.

The American Islamic Congress is a nonprofit, non-religious, civil society development organization serving Muslims and Non-Muslims by promoting civil and human rights through advocacy, engagement and education. Visit http://aic.craftedenterprises.com for more information.