Dr. Omid Safi

Omid Safi
Director of Duke Islamic Studies Center
Duke University

Dr. Safi is a leading Muslim public intellectual. Safi is the Director of Duke Islamic Studies Center (DISC) and specializes in contemporary Islamic thought and classical Islam. He is the Chair for the Islamic Mysticism group at the American Academy of Religion, the largest international organization devoted to the academic study of religion. Safi is an award-winning teacher and speaker, and was nominated six times at Colgate University for the "Professor of the Year" award, and before that twice at Duke University for the Distinguished Lecturer award. At the University of North Carolina, he received the award for mentoring minority students in 2009, and the Sitterson Teaching Award for Professor of the Year in April of 2010. He is the editor of the volume Progressive Muslims: On Justice, Gender, and Pluralism, and the author of Memories of Muhammad, and deals with the biography and legacy of the Prophet Muhammad. His last volume on American Islam was published in 2013 by Cambridge University Press. He has been among the most frequently sought speakers on Islam in popular media, appearing frequently in the New York Times, Newsweek, Washington Post, PBS, NPR, NBC, CNN, Al-Jazeera, and international media.

America between a Dream and a Nightmare: America, Islam, and the Convergence of Martin and Malcolm
Malcolm X is often, and disparagingly, compared to Martin Luther King. Safi will be presenting a view that towards the end of both of their lives, their assessment of the United States actually began to converge into diagnosing the state of America as a nightmare, one in which the racism/poverty of America was directly linked to our militarism and colonialism. Particular emphasis will be paid to the current experience of American Muslims.

Malcolm X is a reminder on how integrated the legacies of anti-colonial struggle, popular movements against racism, American Islam, and American history are. Particularly as America morphs into a crumbling Empire, Malcolm's eloquent and anguished cry of America as a nightmare for many domestically and globally is a call that needs to be heeded.


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