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“Umma Beyond the Nation-State: Imagination, Solidarity, Praxis”

Associate Professor Dr. Joseph J. Kaminski from the IUS Faculty of Business and Administration (FBA) co-organized the Ummatics Institute’s Inaugural Conference titled, “Umma Beyond the Nation-State: Imagination, Solidarity, Praxis” that took place June 13-15, 2023.

The conference sought to revisit and thematize the Muslim collectivity today and focused on questions related to how the borders of the (post-)colonial nation-state have deeply divided the global Muslim umma. The conference also explored questions related to the language of the Umma - as an idiom of international solidarity, as a political affect, and as a theological commitment - and how it competes with other objectified, identitarian categories in the contemporary world. In addition to his organization leadership duties at the conference, Professor Kaminski also co-presented a paper with Dr. Usaama al-Azami (University of Oxford) titled, “Is Muslim Deep Difference an Obstacle to Ummatic Unity?”

The conference brought together some of the top political scientists and Islamic scholars in the world for an interactive dialogue held at the iconic Bahariye Mevlevihanesi in the Eyüpsultan district of İstanbul, Türkiye. The three-day, all-inclusive event featured seven distinct thematically arranged panels and was funded by the Ummatics Institute. More than a dozen different countries were represented at the conference and over 200 people were in attendance over the three-day period.