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"Egypt and the Contradictions of Liberalism" with Dalia Fahmy and Daanish F...

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Edward B. Bunn S.J. Intercultural Center

ICC #270

Georgetown University

Washington, DC 20057

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In their latest book, Egypt and the Contradictions of Liberalism, Dalia F. Fahmy and Daanish Faruqi investigate the putative about-face of a critical mass of prominent Egyptian liberal activists and intelligentsia, who despite spending full careers pursuing progressive reform under Mubarak ultimately remained silent in the face of, or outright lent support to, the counterrevolutionary forces that culminated in the military coup of July 2013. Using an interdisciplinary approach, engaging contributors from a wide array of perspectives and orientations, the editors ultimately argue that the latest failures of Egyptian liberals in the context of 2013 are indicative of a broader set of contradictions inherent in the liberal project in Egypt, from its institutional dimensions and frameworks -- from Egyptian party politics, to the judiciary, to civil society organizations -- to its ideological and philosophical foundations. In their talk, Fahmy and Faruqi will elaborate on these institutional and philosophical contradictions endemic to Egyptian liberalism, and offer potential correctives for rethinking liberalism in a manner that does sufficient justice to Egyptian social and cultural identity, and that overcomes its elitist and authoritarian proclivities. In so doing, they offer a corrective that goes beyond the confines of Egypt, in addressing the putative limitations of liberal political philosophy more broadly. Their presentation will be of wide interest for those in Law, Islamic Studies, Middle East Studies, Political Science, History, and students of liberal political thought alike.


Dr. Dalia Fahmy is Associate Professor of Political Science at Long Island University where she teaches courses on US foreign Policy, World Politics, International Relations, Causes of War, and Politics of the Middle East. She is also a Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Policy in Washington DC. Fahmy’s three books: “The Rise and Fall of The Muslim Brotherhood and the Future of Political Islam” (forthcoming), “Egypt and the Contradictions of Liberalism: Illiberal Intelligentsia and the Future of Egyptian Democracy” with Daanish Faruqi and “International Relations in a Changing World” with Rhodes and DiCicco cover her research areas. Dr. Fahmy has published several articles in academic journals focusing on democratization and most recently on the affects of Islamophobia on US foreign policy. She has been interviewed by and written editorials in various media outlets including ABC, Al Jazeera, CBC, CNBC, MSNBC, the Huffington Post, the Immanent Frame, and the Washington Post.

Daanish Faruqi is a doctoral candidate in History at Duke University, and is currently a Visiting Scholar at the Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights (CGHR) at Rutgers University. His work deals with Islamic political thought, and currently focuses on the nexus between Sufi mysticism and political activism. In addition to his work on Egypt, he has research expertises in North Africa (Morocco and Algeria specifically), Israel/Palestine, Syria, and South Asia (Pakistan in particular). Additionally, he has worked extensively on modern Arab political philosophy and intellectual history, and on reformist Islamic thought through the prism of objectives-based legal theory (maqasid al-shari‘ah). A former Fulbright scholar, he has spent several years in the Arab Middle East as a researcher and journalist. In addition to his scholarly work, he regularly writes for the global press, having published in Al Jazeera, Common Dreams, and USC-Annenberg/Religion Dispatches, among other media outlets.

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Edward B. Bunn S.J. Intercultural Center

ICC #270

Georgetown University

Washington, DC 20057

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