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Amr Abdalla (professor and vice rector, University for Peace, San Jose, Costa
Rica) visited the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) on February
1, 2013, to discuss the challenges of conflict resolution and peace that has
caught the attention of so many Muslim and non-Muslim scholars and policymakers
for several decades. As the Muslim world remains plagued with violent
confrontations between states and non-state actors, regional and national
sectarian conflicts, and domestic conflicts with gender and family elements,
such a discussion is very timely.
The outbreak of the Arab Spring, which has resulted in several Islamist
groups taking power, has raised various questions: Why is it important to talk about conflict resolution and peace building in an Islamic context? How can
the theoretical be combined with the practical? How does Islam fit into the
demonstrations that occurred during the Arab Spring as well as into modernity?
This is, according to Abdalla, the first opportunity that contemporary
Muslims have had to answer these questions for themselves ...