A well-publicized and well-attended 2-day international conference on “Revisiting the Islam and Modernity Debate” was organized on June 4-5, 2008 in the Quaid-i-Azam Auditorium, IIUI. The Conference included participants from the UK, USA, India, as well as a number of scholars from Pakistan, It was attended by IIUI faculty, students, invited guests from several think tanks, universities, learned bodies, and NGOs in Islamabad, members of the media, and general public. The conference was divided into four panels in order to focus on some specific aspects of the issue. Each panel was addressed by four panelists, followed by lively question–answer sessions.
Those who addressed the conference as panelists or discussants included: Professor Tamara Sonn; Professor Shahid Alam; Professor Fauzia Afzal Khan; Professor Salman Seyed; Professor Iqbal Ansari; Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed; Senator Professor Khurshid Ahmad; Professor Pervez Hoodbhoy; Professor Noaman-ul-Haq; Dr. Asim Sajjad; Dr. Farooq Khan; Mr. Khaled Ahmed; Professor Suroosh Arfani; Dr. Manzoor Ahmad; Dr. Anwar H. Siddiqui; Dr. Zafar Ishaq Ansari, and Dr. Mumtaz Ahmad.
The conference was highly successful in terms of achieving its objectives to (a) bring in fresh thinking on the issue of Islam and modernity; (b) examine the current trends in the debate on modernity; (c) explore the varieties of ways in which both Islam and modernity are understood and interpreted; and (d) interrogate some of the most important concomitants of modernity–liberalism, secularism, nationalism, democracy, Westernization and capitalism–as they are seen and engaged by Muslim intellectuals. The conference’s proceedings were widely reported in the media.