Dr. Akhlaq presented a paper at annual conference of American Council for the Study of Islamic Societies, 2016 in order to discuss how misunderstanding still run among Islamic and the Western intellectual about each other. This paper addresses two vital issues: how this misunderstanding are strange to the roots of Islamic culture and the Western Enlightenment; and how this ignorance leads to the tragedy like Charlie Hebdo Shooting. The presentation appeared later on the “The Journal of South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies” (Villanova University Villanova, PA) Spring 2017, VOLUME 40, 3 entitled “The Source of the Problem: Both Islam and the West Have Forgotten Their Roots (A Philosophical Study of the Charlie Hebdo Shooting)
Dr. AKhlaq from CSIME contributed to a recently book called “Sufism, Pluralism and Democracy.” This book, published in UK by Equinox eBooks Publishing, 2017, tries to examine the role of Islamic Gnosticism in promoting diversity and mutual respect among different faithful with vary background. Dr. Akhlaq’s paper entitled “Looking Inside the Heart: The Universal Appeal of God and Humanity as Reflected in Ibn al-‘Arabi’s Fusus al-Hikam and Maulana Rumi’s Mathnawi Manawi.” This study illustrates both Rumi and Ibn Rabi’s perspectives on religious pluralism.
Dr. Akhlaq co-edited a 793 pages volume with Prof. John Hogan on the relation between secular approach and the religious/sacred approaches among many different cultures, philosophies, and religion. It is called, “The Secular and The Sacred: Complementary and/or Conflictual?” Two articles of this volume on Hermeneutic in Islamic Sharia and rationality in Islamic Culture are authored by Dr. Akhlaq.
Lectures and Public Presentations:
Dr. Akhlaq represented the CSIME’s view in a very welcomed op-ed published on Huffington-Post entitled “Easter Hope: Imam in a Catholic Seminary.” This paper suggests the experiences of an Imam living a couple of years among Christian priests and brothers. It highlights how religious leaders from different background can learn from each other and enrich their faith.
Approaching new education year, hundreds of students from Islamic countries came to the USA to grow up in an inter-faith context and become young leaders of tolerance and co-existence. For their official invitation, on August 9th 2017, Dr. Akhlaq, representing CSIME, gave them a lecture explaining how Islamic practices happen in the USA. The lecture was equipped with PowerPoint Slide Show and followed by Q and A.
Representing the CSIME, Dr. Akhlaq participated in a lunch invitation on May 10th, 2017 with several alumni of inter-faith program from nine different countries in Washington DC. Students represented multiple faith backgrounds with a shared belief of the importance of interfaith and peace-building work in their local communities. Dr. Akhlaq listened to their ongoing projects and suggested them how to overcome obstacles.
Dr. Akhlaq represented CSIME in the Annual Meeting of Modern Language Association of America in Philadelphia. Dr. Akhlaq gave a speech on Crisis of Refugee and how to deal with students and scholars suffering in this crisis.
Last February Dr. Akhlaq represented CSIME in a live panel broadcasting for students around the world on inter-faith dialogue. 40 alumni from interfaith program from 24 countries around the world participated in a live interfaith panel discussion with Rev. Linda Olson-Peebles, Minister of Faith in Action at the Unitarian Universalist Church, Dr. Paul L. Heck, Founding Director of The Study of Religions across Civilizations (SORAC), & Imam Sayed Hassan Hussaini Akhlaq, Adviser for the Center for the Study of Islam and the Middle East in Washington D.C. Dr. Akhlaq first answered many question for the host and participants on the issue. They were very welcome.
For the last months, Dr. Akhlaq from CSIME is participating in an intellectual and cultural TV Show called “Farhang va Andishah.” The program airs internationally from Toronto, Canada, for the Farsi speaking audiences from Afghanistan and Iran. The show attempts to expend the rational analysis on Islamic and Farsi culture and promote tolerance and mutual respect among various communities.