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Religious Minorities in the Islamic Settings

A199
Panel Chair: Yahya Sabbaghchi | Friday, August 28, 3:30-5:30 p.m. | Venue

This panel focuses on religious minorities in the Islamic contexts. The panel aims to address the status of such religious minorities from varying aspects. This includes (but not limited to) the historical settlement, demographic patterns, socio-economic status and success, religiosity, and gender dynamics of religious minorities in the Muslim societies. The potential contributions may focus on a single religious minority (for instance, Christians) or on several religious minorities in an Islamic context. Further, the field of study of the potential contributions may be a single Islamic society or it can include religious minority/minorities in several Islamic societies. This panel welcomes papers based on either quantitative analysis or qualitative study.

Hadis Jahani

Embodying Sacred Emotions and Performative Construction of Identity: Jâm ritual practice and the process of identity formation among Yâresân in Iran

In this Lecture, I want to introduce my PhD project which is about Yâresân. Music, in Yâresân tradition plays an important role in their main rituals. Jâm ritual practice is sometimes very intense emotionally, by playing Tanbûr it is intended to evoke and make Sûltan present. In my project, I will consider Yâresân Jam ritual and I will apply the performative approach. In this study one of my central questions is that how Yâresân religion construct its sacred world (emotions, experiences, conceptions,...) through Jam ritual performance and how creatively and performativly they invent their cultural meanings and how they are being able to transform the reality of being Yâresâni as a religious minority dominated by Shia discourse in Iran.

Yahya Sabbaghchi

Jezia: Compulsory or Voluntary? A Revision on the Concept of Jezia in Islam

Based on the legitimacy of offensive war in Islam, the ahl-al-kitab (mainly the Christians and Jews) are asked to make a choice: converting to Islam or paying jezia, otherwise they would be killed. In such a context, Jezia is proposed in a compulsory situation, as rejecting it may result in death. But it seems that the concept of jezia during the prophet’s life did not include such a compulsion. Rather, it was mostly a treaty of peace-making or an agreement of support, proposed by some societies or tribes who needed to become united with the Muslims- as a powerful society- in order to enhance their defense power against their enemies and guarantee their survival. In a few cases, it was a solution to end a war initiated by the non-Muslims. Such a viewpoint challenges the legitimacy of offensive war in Islam. This paper tries to find the original concept of jezia.

Masoumeh Haghpanah

Ethno-Religious Minorities in the Islamic Republic of Iran: The Question of Visibility

How ethnic and religious minorities are portrayed through official channels of socialization process in the Muslim world? This paper focuses on this key research question and attempts to respond to it on the basis of research-based evidence. This paper is based on socialization theory in which socialization serves as a strategy of superiority of majority, and recognizes educational system as the first official agent and the most powerful engine of socialization. Based on these theoretical foundations, this study focuses on the representation of minorities through educational system of the Islamic Republic of Iran. This country holds a wide range of religious and ethnic minorities including Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, Sunnis etc. This paper reveals how the new and young generations are socialized and how their knowledge and attitude about minorities are shaped and oriented through the educational system. The paper also highlights a socio-demographic profile of these ethno-religious minorities.

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