Reading the Qur’an in Solidarity with Indigenous Rights

July 25, 2020

Shadaab Rahemtullah will share a paper and host a discussion that puts Islamic liberation theology in conversation w First Nations’ rights

About this event

Join CCMS for a conversation with Shadaab Rahemtulla where he'll share a recently published paper that may help provide a framework for Muslim-Indigenous solidarity.

The paper being presented seeks to put Islamic liberation theology in conversation with First Nations’ rights, focusing on an Indigenous critique of Christian liberation theology. The Exodus – the liberation of the ancient Israelites from Egyptian bondage - is a central paradigm for Latin American and Black liberation theologians, representing a just deity in solidarity with the oppressed. But Indigenous scholars have critiqued the Exodus paradigm as selective, omitting “the other side” of the story: namely, the Israelite conquest of Canaan and destruction of its local inhabitants.

Given the Exodus is also a key trope in Islamic liberation theology, this paper raises the following questions: What exactly does the Qur’an have to say about the Israelite encounter with Canaan? Does it mirror the Biblical account? Did a mass genocide take place, and, if so, was this a result of divine decree?

About the speaker:

A Canadian Muslim of Indian descent, Dr Shadaab Rahemtulla is Lecturer in Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations at the School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh. Trained in Islamic thought at the University of Oxford, Shadaab's primary interest lies in the relationship between religion, power, and resistance, exploring how religious texts can be (re)interpreted to challenge structures of social domination, including poverty and patriarchy, racism and empire. He is the author of the book, Qur‘an of the Oppressed: Liberation Theology and Gender Justice in Islam, published by Oxford University Press.