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Focus on Islamic perspectives in art

Lecture at Oxford University’s Middle East Centre hosts scholars of Islamic law

  • By Habib Toumi, Bureau Chief
  • Published: 14:46 May 9, 2013
  • Gulf News

Manama: Islamic perspectives to ethical limits on artistic expression were highlighted at a public lecture presented by the Centre for Islamic Legislation and Ethics (CILE) at Oxford University’s Middle East Centre.

The event was part of a series of seminars and public lectures organised by CILE, a member of the Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies (QFIS), to bring together scholars of Islamic law and text in a forum to discuss critical issues across various fields, including methodology, bioethics, environment, politics, food, psychology, media, economics, education, arts and gender issues.

The lecture was organised in parallel with CILE’s seminar on Art and Ethics, also held at Oxford University last week, Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, the umbrella for QFIS said in a statement emailed to Gulf News.

The lecture was introduced by Professor Tariq Ramadan, CILE Executive Director, and participants included Jasser Auda, CILE Deputy Director, Jonas Otterbeck, of Lund University in Sweden, and Canadian script writer and filmmaker Zarqa Nawaz.

In his intervention, Auda criticised the concept of Islamic art and its ambiguous meanings, and called for the implementation of the higher objectives of Sharia as an ethical reference for artistic expression.

Otterbeck highlighted the variety of connotations related to the concept of Islamic Art.

Nawaz displayed segments of her soap opera entitled ‘Little Mosque on the Prairie’, and elaborated on her experience in writing comedies addressing ethical dilemmas and the reaction of the Muslim communities to them.

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