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Congress “Islam and Otherness” – Beirut 2021


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Theme “Islam and Otherness”

True acceptance of otherness in a globalized and pluralistic world allows us to measure the capacity of religious, philosophical or political thought to fit in and assume the contemporary societal dynamics inherent to globalization (Taylor). This acceptance is not devoid of resistance that stem from the rise of entrenched identity expressions founded in particularly on a vision of equality that is based on the “similar” which assumes a historical-ethnic (Rosanvallon) [1]  or religious identity.

The “Islam and Otherness” Congress proposes to reflect on how Islam fits into this societal movement beyond identity resistance.

Three axes will allow us to approach the reality of otherness in Islam in terms of resources: geopolitical axis, dialogue axis and citizenship axis (muwatana).

[1] Pierre Rosanvallon, La Société des égaux, Paris, Seuil, 2011.

Download the call for paper : FRENAR

Online, then Lebanon

Already postponed by one year during the first European Coronavirus wave, our Congress was scheduled to take place in April 2021 in Beirut. In view of the many restrictions still in force in many countries, the PLURIEL coordination committee decided to reshape the Congress “Islam and Otherness” in two stages:

A first stage online (videoconference) on the scheduled dates of 13 and 14 April 2021, with part of the initial programme

A second stage in Beirut in 2022

The programme for 13 and 14 April 2021 will soon be adapted to this new timetable. So keep your availability for these dates. We will inform you of the adaptation of the programme around mid-January.



Below is the preliminary programme as of August 2020. It will be subject to adaptation due to the reshaping of the Congress into an online stage in April 2021, followed by a face-to-face stage in Beirut in 2022. It is our wish to preserve the entire programme.


Day 1 : Geopolitical ApproachDialogal Approach / Day 2 : Citizenship Approach /  Day 3 : Workshops and visits /  Day 4 : Visits

Day 1 | Tuesday, April 13th, 2021 | Saint Joseph University of Beirut

9.00 Welcoming
9.30 Words of welcome
9.40 Presentation of the Theme of The Congress “Islam and Otherness” : Emmanuel PISANI, Director of the Institute of Science and Theology of Religions, Paris Catholic Institute

10.00 Plenary Lecture :

The other in Islamic civilization: from the immanence of cultures to divine transcendence. Raja SAKRANI (Germany), Jurist and Cultural Science scholar at the Käte Hamburger Center for Advanced Study “Law as Culture”, University of Bonn  – Chairman : Tobias SPECKER


11.30 – 1.30 PM : Geopolitical Approach

1.A  – Room A (Live Translation in AR, FR, EN) – Chairman : Laurent BASANESE


ADRAOUI Mohamed-Ali / USA
Islamists and international relations. What is their world view and their diplomatic practices? Global emergence, evolution and amendment of a culturalist and antagonistic theorySENIGUER Haoues / France
Sunni Muslim integralism in the face of (a)confessional otherness, between theology and politics: social adaptability, theological inertia?
TORTOLINI Alessia / Italy

Swinging Foreign Policy: The Iranian Umma in International Relations
BRODEUR Patrice / Canada

Twentieth century transformations in Arab Muslim perceptions of religious Others.
1.B  – Room B (EN) – Chairman : Dirk ANSORGE


EVIRGEN Yusuf / Turkey 
Understanding post-Islamists’ ‘Othering’: The AK Party Case from 2002 to 2011
NESTOROVIC Cédomir / Singapour

The Muslim as ‘other’ in the former Yugoslavia
VASFI Mohamed Reza / Iran / Austria

The rights of non-Muslims in Iran, and how it relates to šarīʿa
ALAM Anwar / India

Muslims and Islamic responses to Hindu Society and Constitutional liberalism in India
SETTOUL Elyamine / France

Being a Muslim in the French armies. Between trivialisation and otherness.


2.30 – 4.30 : Dialogal Approach

2.A  – Room A (Live Translation in AR, FR, EN) – Chairman : Thom SICKING


CAUCANAS Rémi / France / Kenya
Islamic-Christian relations in East Africa: late experience or model to follow?
EL FIRM Mohamed / Morocco

The Construction of Otherness through Education: An Evaluation of Moroccan Religious Textbooks
NAJM Jafar / Iraq

Christians between the Sufi Islam mainstream and the interpretations of liberal Islam / A look into the future of doctrinal dogmatism
SHEIKH Naveed / UK

Otherness in the Constitution of Medina – Revisiting the Foundations of Islamic Politics in an Age of Schism
2.B   – Room B (EN) – Chairman : Diego SARRIO CUCARELLA



BREIDY Vanessa / Italy
Unity of God and unity in God – a possible perspective and way of dialogue between the believers?
DEMICHELIS Marco / Spain
Islamic Christology (Kristūlūjīā) and Christian Monotheism (al-Tawḥīd). A dialogical debate for contemporary on ’Ibn/’Abnā’ and the Active/Essential God’s Attributes.
MARUSEK Sarah / South Africa
Islam and Otherness: A Liberation Theology Approach


2.C  – Room C (FR) – Chairman : Michel YOUNÈS


AIT KABBOURA Mounia / Canada
Radical evil and the Canadian multiculturalist otherness
ARBACHE Samir / France

Religious and Cultural Otherness: Debating Issues in Islam
MOSTFA Ali  / France

The Other and Otherness in the Arabic Language and Culture
RICHARD Thomas / France

Medieval Islam in the cinema. A dialogue in four films


5.00 PM Official Speeches – Chairwoman : Roula TALHOUK
Michel SCHEUER, Vice-Rector USJ
Khalil CHALFOUN, Rector Sagesse University
François MABILLE, IFCU General Secretary
Michel JALAKH, Rector of the Antonine University
Michel YOUNÈS, Coordinator of PLURIEL


6.00 PM Plenary Lecture:

Islam and otherness, what challenges for education in a context of plurality? Salim DACCACHE (Lebanon), Rector of Université Saint Joseph

Day 2 | Wednesday, April 14th, 2021  | Saint Joseph University of Beirut

9.00 : PLURIEL NETWORK WORKSHOP Presentation of the work of 4 PLURIEL Research groups


10.00 : Plenary Lecture :

Islam and the Salvation of non-Muslims: The Qur’anic Perspective Gabriel Said REYNOLDS (USA), University of Notre Dame, Chairman : Michel YOUNÈS

1.30 – 3.30 : Citizenship Approach

3.A  – Room A (Live Translation in AR, FR, EN) – Chairman : Emmanuel PISANI
BOUCHIBA Farid / France
Dār al-islām and dār al-ḥarb in contemporary Muslim thought
YASSNI Yassine / Morocco
Black as the Other in Islamic Culture
GAMAL Mohamed / Egypt
The concept of “citizenship” in the Azhari discourse. Problems and contradictions
DRHIMEUR Amina / Germany
The “us” against the “others”, the populist political style of the Islamist party the PJD
3.B  – Room B (EN – FR) – Chairman : Ali MOSTFA
DIAB Issa / Lebanon
Islam’s attitude towards the Christians and the Jews in Sayyid Qutb’s approach and its contemporary extensions
FLEYFEL Antoine / France / Lebanon
The other in the Muslim Brotherhood’s tought. Hassan al- Banna and Sayyid Qutb
KARACA Asli / Turkey
Institutionalized Islam in Personal Status Laws and Challenged Position of Women as ‘the Other’
SALEH Wael / Canada
The representation of non-Islamist Muslims in Sunni Islamist discourse: an intra-religious otherness?
3.C  – Room C (EN – FR) – Chairman : Tobias SPECKER
BOUTAHAR Youssef / Morocco
Re-problematizing the Religious Majority-Minority Dialectics in Post-Arab Spring Morocco: Between Subalternity and Digital Disobedience
ANSORGE Dirk / Germany
Embracing the Other: Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri‘s. Approach to Human Rights and Democracy
HASHAS Mohammed / Italy
The Other in Trusteeship Paradigm of Taha Abderrahmane: Prospects and Limitations
MAREI Fouad Gehad / Germany
From the Throes of Anguished Mourning: Shi’i Ritual Practice and Post-Secular Modes of Socialization

4.00 PM : Synthesis by PLURIEL Scientific Comittee


Day 3 (Study Stay) | Thursday, April 15th, 2021 | Sagesse University

9.00 : Crossed visions of PhD Candidates and Junior Researchers

11.30 : The experience of the other in Lebanon: Chaldean, Alawite, Evangelical, “the 19th community” (from a point of view of a minority of the minority and reactions of “majorities”). Round table with religious figures: Maronite, Sunni, Druze, Shiite, Orthodox, Armenian …

1.30 PM : Workshops with local associations

4.00 PM : Visit of Worship places in Beirut with Thom Sicking


Day 4 (Study Stay) | Friday, April 16th, 2021 | Beirut and North Lebanon

Visits of shared worship places in Beirut and North Lebanon