Northwestern University

Mon 6:00 PM

When Law is Not Enough: Controversies over Muslim Rights in the US — Nadia Marzouki (MENA Monday Night at the Evanston Public Library)

When: Monday, April 23, 2018
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM  

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Cost: Free of charge and open to the public.

Contact: Danny Postel  

Group: Middle East and North African Studies

Category: Lectures & Meetings


Disputes over the scope of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution have played a central role in contemporary debates about Islam in the United States. Through an analysis of current controversies over the construction of mosques, Sharia law and the Trump Administration's proposed travel ban, this talk will suggest that the Islamophobia expressed by many anti-Muslim activists reveals a form of liberal "democraphobia". If these disputes express a deep divide about the Constitution and the limits of who can be considered American, what, then, is the power of law and U.S. courts to counter anti-Muslim bigotry and negative perceptions of Islam?

Nadia Marzouki is Research Fellow at the Abdallah S. Kamel Center for the Study of Islamic Law and Civilization at Yale Law School and a Research Fellow at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in Paris. Her work examines public controversies about Islam in Europe and the United States and debates about religious freedom and democratization in North Africa. She is the author of Islam: An American Religion (2017) and co-editor of two books: Religious Conversions in the Mediterranean World (with Olivier Roy, 2013) and Saving the People: How Populists Hijack Religion (with Roy and Duncan McDonnell, 2016).

This event is part of the MENA Monday Night series, a partnership between Northwestern's MENA Program and the Evanston Public Library aimed at expanding the public’s understanding of the MENA region and fostering a forum for questions and dialogue. MENA Monday Night programs are free of charge and open to the public.

This event is co-sponsored by One Book One Northwestern ( and the Global Politics and Religion Research Group (

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