Topics for the Upcoming Conference onRegister
The Challenge of Atheism among Muslim Youth
The Phenomenon of Atheism
A study on the rise of atheism in the west, the rate of its rapid growth, and its major causes. We hope it will cover some or all of the following subtopics, along with whatever else you feel is directly connected and Imams in America should know:
- How not practicing religion frequently becomes not believing in religion
- How a materialistic lifestyle creates a dislike for religion because it restricts it
- The rise of New Atheism, and how it is weaponized against Islam in particular.
Cultural & Intellectual Contributors to Atheism
A study on the dominant ideas of the secular age, particularly in today’s America. We hope it will cover some of the historical roots behind these ideas, such as Europe’s Enlightenment Period, and how that translates into the rejection of the metaphysical (ghayb) and the supernatural (God & miracles) in many people today. Among the related subtopics that our Imam(s) sought to learn more about were:
- Skepticism, Darwinism, and Scientism
- How the Islamic framework for understanding the world (epistemology) is superior and more balanced
- Where Islam may agree and disagree with both secularism or other religions
Emotional & Social Contributors to Atheism
A study which showcases how emotional and social factors frequently propel people towards atheism. It may cover personal trauma, mental health issues, bad experiences with Muslims (such as racism), feeling like misfits in greater society (identity crises), feeling restricted by Islam’s ‘excessive rules’, encountering chaos within the Muslim community (lack of internal unity, confusing political alignments), and inadequate prayers spaces, among other examples.
The Argument for God
A study which presents the Quranic proofs for the existence of God, and the nature of God in the theistic traditions (particularly the Abrahamic ones, and especially Islam). We hope it can incorporate how the correct belief in God debunks all the major proofs cited for atheism:
- The lack of proof for God’s existence
- The problem of evil & God’s existence
- The conflict between religion and science
- Islam being immoral (especially to women and non-Muslims)
Improving Community Dynamics
A study which helps counteract both factors (intellectual and emotional) leading to atheism in our communities. A roadmap is sought for healthy community dynamics, which could include but not limited to:
- Availability of relevant content immunizing Muslims against doubt
- Develop material for Islamic schools: Weekend and fulltime
- Creating an inclusive, welcoming atmosphere for all in our masajid
- Offering youth engagement opportunities that have proven successful in other religious communities
- Investigating what factors optimize identity preservation for any minority group
The Psychology of Conviction
A study on why people subscribe to religion and how humans develop their convictions. It should allot emphasis on tarbiyah; armoring the next generations early, preempting their doubts with sound knowledge, It would also benefit to highlight the ideal method of interacting with those already riddled by doubt, and the advice / strategy relatives should hear when consulting with Imam(s) about their doubting family members.
The Relevant Narrative
A study specifically on reframing our explanation of “faith” in Islam to resonate with the modern mind, while remaining true to our sacred texts and tradition. It would be great to cover how to 1) simplify the study of faith, 2) make it intellectually stimulating, and 3) spiritually invigorating. Perhaps the study can use fundamental concepts such as God being unimaginable, God being infinite, and God being in full-control (Qadar), as practical exercises for how the narrative should be renewed for today’s audience.
Date: Monday, March 24th, 2020 (8:00 AM – 5:00 PM)
Fees & Guidelines