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Interview with Farid Esack
(2014-03-15)

In this in-depth interview, South African self-described feminist Farid Esack discusses issues around justice and injustice, race and racism, gender inequality and equality. Esack is a renowned Muslim scholar and activist, recognized for his work to advance gender equality and end racism. In the 1990s, Nelson Mandela appointed him Gender Commissioner; today he heads the Department of Religion Studies at the University of Johannesburg.

Having grown up in abject poverty in apartheid South Africa, Esack managed to secure a scholarship for religious study in Pakistan at the age of 15. He stayed in Pakistan for nearly a decade, before returning home to form a Muslim anti-apartheid group. His activism against racism saw him detained on several occasions, and in 1990 he left South Africa again, this time to pursue a PhD in Qur’anic studies.

For Esack, the source of his deep commitment to equality and justice stems from his early childhood where he was exposed to oppression and discrimination. In his reading of the Qur’an, God always takes the side of the marginalized and the weak over the powerful, and encourages revolt against injustices when they appear. But for Esack, movements against injustices must always remember to take into account the needs and the rights of the marginalized within the community, highlighting how women and other disadvantaged groups must not be left behind in the struggle for freedom and justice. For Esack, the notion of equality and justice in Islam fits with the idea of feminism. Feminism, for Esack, is a commitment to absolute justice and absolute equality between women and men and those who identify as neither women nor men. Importantly, Esack reminds us that justice and equality is not just something that we have to practice in front of God but also in this world that we live in today and share with another, regardless of race or gender.

In this fascinating interview, Esack expand on his past, his interpretation of Islam, and what it is about Islam that makes it compatible with feminism and other struggles for justice, equality and fairness, always reminding us to see how an intersections of identities associated with class, gender, sexuality and race impacts on our lives and those of our neighbors.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WSFcJW5YRM
Interview with Farid Esack
Video

In this in-depth interview, South African self-described feminist Farid Esack discusses issues around justice and injustice, race and racism, gender inequality and equality. Esack is a renowned Muslim scholar and activist, recognized for his work to advance gender equality and end racism. In the 1990s, Nelson Mandela appointed him Gender Commissioner; today he heads the Department of Religion Studies at the University of Johannesburg.

Having grown up in abject poverty in apartheid South Africa, Esack managed to secure a scholarship for religious study in Pakistan at the age of 15. He stayed in Pakistan for nearly a decade, before returning home to form a Muslim anti-apartheid group. His activism against racism saw him detained on several occasions, and in 1990 he left South Africa again, this time to pursue a PhD in Qur’anic studies.

For Esack, the source of his deep commitment to equality and justice stems from his early childhood where he was exposed to oppression and discrimination. In his reading of the Qur’an, God always takes the side of the marginalized and the weak over the powerful, and encourages revolt against injustices when they appear. But for Esack, movements against injustices must always remember to take into account the needs and the rights of the marginalized within the community, highlighting how women and other disadvantaged groups must not be left behind in the struggle for freedom and justice. For Esack, the notion of equality and justice in Islam fits with the idea of feminism. Feminism, for Esack, is a commitment to absolute justice and absolute equality between women and men and those who identify as neither women nor men. Importantly, Esack reminds us that justice and equality is not just something that we have to practice in front of God but also in this world that we live in today and share with another, regardless of race or gender.

In this fascinating interview, Esack expand on his past, his interpretation of Islam, and what it is about Islam that makes it compatible with feminism and other struggles for justice, equality and fairness, always reminding us to see how an intersections of identities associated with class, gender, sexuality and race impacts on our lives and those of our neighbors.

2014-03-15
Regional Organizations discuss Rule of Law at European Commission
(Brussels, 2013-05-27)
Major Regional Organizations (OAS, ASEAN, AU, PIF, SAARC and LAS) at Inter-Regional Dialogue on Democracy Third High Level Meeting in Brussels 27-28 May, 2013 discussing Rule of Law in their regions, and globally.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8jfjM2yNWw
Regional Organizations discuss Rule of Law at European Commission
Video
Major Regional Organizations (OAS, ASEAN, AU, PIF, SAARC and LAS) at Inter-Regional Dialogue on Democracy Third High Level Meeting in Brussels 27-28 May, 2013 discussing Rule of Law in their regions, and globally.
Brussels
Third High Level Meeting of the Inter-Regional Dialogue on Democracy
2013-05-27
Hernán Larraín, Chile on technology in Latin America
(Silicon Valley, California, United States, 2013-04-23)
The conference ‘Governing Democratically in a tech-empowered world,’ explored how technology is changing the way democracies function and how to support political institutions (particularly in developing democracies) to adapt to these changes.
/resources/multimedia/upload/Chile Hernan Lerrain on technology for development.mp3
Hernán Larraín, Chile on technology in Latin America
Audio
The conference ‘Governing Democratically in a tech-empowered world,’ explored how technology is changing the way democracies function and how to support political institutions (particularly in developing democracies) to adapt to these changes.
Silicon Valley, California, United States
‘Governing Democratically in a tech-empowered world,’ conference hosted by the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), International IDEA, the Omidyar Network, and the Stanford Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law.
2013-04-23

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