The Public Understanding of Islamic Scholarship in Society

Digital mass and social media are popular venues for Islamic discourse and shaping the public understanding of Islam, Muslims, and Islamic scholarship. Many of the discourse items that spread in these media purport to convey Islamic legal scholarship.But the items that spread the most tend to be material that Islamic scholars and the Muslim masses do not recognize as legitimate. Meanwhile, items which are recognized by specialists and the Muslim masses as legitimate Islamic scholarship do not spread at all. This disproportionate spread leads to a public misunderstanding of Islam, Muslims, and Islamic scholarship.

Author, Musa Furber, will present an analytic brief on this problem, along with a hypothesis to explain why this happens, and activities to address the problem. Afterwards there will be an open discussion about the topic.

About the Author
MUSA FURBER is a Senior Research Fellow at the Tabah Foundation. He studied the various Islamic Disciplines in Damascus, where he received a license to teach the Shāfi‘ī school of law. He then studied at Dar al-Ifta in Cairo, where he received a license to deliver legal edicts (fatwas) from Sheikh Ali Gomaa. He also has a BA in Applied Linguistics from Portland State University (Oregon, USA), and a Masters in Public Administration from Dubai School of Government. Some of his recent publications while at Tabah Foundation include: Ethical Dimensions of Nanotechnology, Ethics & Virtual Worlds, Reducing the Role of Decision-Making Biases in Muslim Responsa, Elements of a Fatwa & Their Contribution to Confidence in Its Validity, Ranking Confidence in the Validity of Contemporary Fatwas & Their Dissemination Channels, and Obligations to Future Generations.
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