Call for Papers

Muslim Youth: Challenges, Opportunities & Expectations

Organised Jointly: AMSS UK and the University of Chester.

Venue: Chester University, UK, 15-17 August 2008

The modern world presents a series of complex, conflicting scenarios and
possibilities for young people and in particular young Muslims. Many
Muslim societies display a “youth bulge”, where more than half of their
populations are under the age of 25, a demographic reality mirrored in
Muslim communities living in the West.  An increasingly globalised
western culture is rapidly eroding traditional ideas about society, from
the family to the state. At the same time, rampant materialism is
creating a culture of spiritual emptiness in which demoralisation and
pessimism easily find root. For young Muslims these challenges are
compounded by a growing sense of alienation as they face competing
ideologies and divergent lifestyles. Muslim youth are often idealised as
the “future of Islam” or stigmatised as rebelling against their parental
values and suffering “identity crises”. These experiences can produce
both positive and negative reactions, from intellectual engagement,
social interaction and increasing spiritual maturity to emotional
rejectionism, immersion in narrow identity politics and violent
extremism. However, it is clear that the optimism of most young Muslims
is best nurtured in an environment of opportunity, where ambitions and
aspirations can exist as an achievable reality. But at the social and
political levels, opportunity crucially depends on the existence of both
equality and inclusivity, as well as the vision and determination within
the community and the establishment to tackle educational
underachievement. This conference seeks to discuss the central issues
currently facing young Muslims both locally and globally and seeks to
engage with academics, educationalists, psychologists, social
commentators, youth work practitioners and interested institutions and
organisations at the national and international levels.

We invite papers that address but are not limited to the following
themes:

Contexts

·        Classical and modern understandings of youth in Islam

·        Theorising Muslim Youth

·        Contrasting Muslim youth experiences in majority and minority
Muslim societies

Challenges

·        Globalisation of Western consumer youth cultures

·        Detraditionalisation and secularisation

·        Reconciling competing demands from  ‘home, school, street, and
mosque’

·        Alienation, marginalisation and discrimination

·        Social problems and cultural taboos

·        Educational underachievement

·        Over-emphasis on a narrow range of occupations

·        Issues of well-being and mental health, e.g.
happiness/depression, optimism/pessimism, meaningfulness/nihilism,

·        Disconnection of urban youth from  the natural world

·        Youth and anti-social behaviour

·        Identity, belonging and loyalty

·        Vulnerability to violent and extremist ideologies

Opportunities

Reclaiming authentic Islamic spirituality and human values

Hybridised youth identities

Youth as agents of positive change and improvement in society as a
whole, through:

a)     Proposing constructive solutions instead of being perceived as “a
problem”

b)     responsible civic engagement

c)      building networks with people of goodwill from all communities

d)     advocating and promoting social and economic justice, ethical
business, creative philanthropy, stewardship models of management,
protection of the envie)     achieving excellence in professions which influence public
opinion and public policy (e.g. the media)  and create future opinion
formers and thought leaders (e.g. education at all levels)

f)       becoming role models in caring professions (e.g. health care)

g)     driving and articulating key research on social issues

Visibility and activism of young Muslim women

Advancement of holistic education to nurture full range of human
potential amongst young people – intellectual, aesthetic, physical,
moral and spiritual

Reconnecting with nature and the countryside

Re-animating an Islamic conception of beauty

Emerging youth cultures, e.g. ‘Islamic Cool’ i.e. Nasheed & Rap

Development of new types of religious identity

Ground breaking service based projects and educational initiatives

Abstracts

We invite submissions for 20 minute presentations. Submissions should
not have been published previously as selected papers will be included
in a Conference proceedings publication.

Please submit a 200 word abstract of the paper with an application form
to the following e-mail: m.seddon@chester.ac.uk by 15th June 2008.

Decisions on which papers will be included in the conference program
will be announced by the organizers by the end of July, and the
information will be sent by e-mail. Selection of the papers will be made
on the basis of quality and relevance to the conference themes.

Sadek Hamid

Muslim Youth Work Programme Leader
Department of Theology & Religious Studies
University of Chester
Parkgate Road
Chester
CH1 4BJ

01244 511 031/07947 792 784

http://www.chester.ac.uk/trs/index.html

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2 Responses to Call for Papers

  1. jitendra says:

    sir,

    kindly tell me that if we send a qualitative papre and not able to present there due to financial problem, will you award any absentia certificate for that,.

  2. dilsenomad says:

    I am not directly involved with this conference. I just provided the information. At the end of the poster there is an email address, you should direct your query there.

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