U of M Hosts Conference
Academics from around the world gathered on the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor this past March to discuss the life of Imam Moussa Sadr. The Conference on Shi’a, Modernity and the Legacy of Imam Moussa Sadr was hosted by the U of M’s Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies and was co-organized by the Sadr Foundation USA.
“I was fortunate enough to attend the conference and was impressed by what I learned of Imam Sadr,” said Muna Amen, Dearborn resident and Sadr Foundation USA board member. “I really didn’t realize what a profound affect Imam Moussa had on the world’s Shi’a Muslim communities or what he was like as a man. I learned about how he worked to bring equality to the Shi’a in Lebanon and around the world and the forces he had to face doing so.” I was impressed that there were non-Muslims and non-Arabs delivering scholarly work on Imam Moussa, people such as Dr. Juan Cole of the University of Michigan. They talked about Imam being a man of high intelligence and charm and they even touched on his personality.”
Other speakers included Sayyed Mustafa al Qazwini of the Islamic Educational Center of Orange County (California), who addressed the impact of Imam Moussa’s works on the Lebanese Shi’a community; professor Liyakat Takim from the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Denver, who spoke about the impact Imam Moussa had on Shi’a jurisprudence; and professor Rula Abisaab of the Institute of Islamic Studies at McGill University. “I made a trip to Lebanon this past July, my first since 1962, and was touched by the photos of Imam Moussa all around the south of Lebanon. This was on of the reasons I was impressed and enthusiastic with the conference at U of M, it gave me insight to the work and teachings of Imam Moussa. I only wish that this type of conference could be repeated here in Dearborn because all would benefit from it.