This was a 3-day international conference on “Local Cities, Foreign Capitals: Finding the Local Anchor in the Global Cultures” where more than 100 papers were received for presentation. The proceeding took place in a very cordial environment and speakers/scholars gave presentations on their topics. They commented that use of force will ultimately make the world deprived of the growth of globalization, while it was necessary to have common human values and prerogatives to be promoted across the world without any discrimination.
The US delegates included;
- Dr. Cara Cilano, Professor of English/Chairperson Department of English
- Michigan State University, USA
- Dr. Aaron King, Ben Taylor & Daniel Masters University of North Carolina, Wilmington, USA
- Dr. Kira Hall, University of Colorado at Boulder, USA
- Dr. Michele A. Parker, Department of Educational Leadership, University of North Carolina Wilmington
- Dr. Rahul Bjorn Parson (Chair), Department of Asian, Languages and Civilizations, University of Colorado at Boulder
- Dr. Florentina C. Andreescu Department of International Studies International Studies Program, University of North Carolina Wilmington
- Dr. Jess Boersma, UNCW.
Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed was the Keynote speaker at the inauguration ceremony of the conference. He said that double standards of societies towards globalization would affect the globalization and there was a dire need for disseminating peace across the globe. Talking about the role of Pakistan in globalization, Mushahid Hussain Syed said that Pakistan’s role is pivotal when it comes to globalization and humanitarian efforts. He said that Pakistan accommodated millions of refugees from Islamic countries in past and welcomed them with an open heart. He told that as many as 7.7 million Pakistanis were contributing in global economy in countries, while a large number of Pakistani troops have helped UN to complete the mission of serving humanity across the world.
More than a hundred papers were presented by researchers from various countries on issues as diverse as globalization, Diaspora Studies, Religious Identities, global politics, world literature, linguistics and many more. The conference is expected to address the myriad and seminal forms of impact that globalization has had and continues to exert on the many facets of religion, politics, society and culture in the world.
Dr. Caroline Clements also spoke on the occasion and thanked IIUI for collaboration with her university and termed this conference a successful activity for constructive recommendations on the topic. Dr. Munawwar Iqbal Gondal, Dean Faculty of Languages and Literature apprised the participants of the objectives and topics of the conference and told about various sessions. He hoped that researchers would come up with best recommendations.
Dr. Husnul Amin, Executive Director, IRD highlighted the goals of the conference and told about the mutual collaboration between both sides. He lauded the efforts of late Dr. Mumtaz Ahmad and paid him rich tribute for securing three years IIU partnership program with the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, N.C (UNCW), involving Department of Political Science/International Relations and Department of English and obtained US One Million dollar grant by the US Government.
Professor Ahmad Al-Assal Memorial Keynote Speech was delivered on “Globalization of Islamic Law A Muslim Perspective on International Law” by Dr. Muhammad Khalid Masud, former Chairman, Council of Islamic Ideology, Government of Pakistan.
He congratulates the organizers of this conference for undertaking this highly adventurous task of Finding the Local Anchor in the Global cultures. He expected at the end of this conference, the organizers must be feeling immensely satisfied to find local anchors in Pakistan. They are securely anchored in Pakistani Media culture as Anchor persons ready to globalize you on each aspect of globalism. During these three days the conference would have discovered with sighs of relief that Local Cities are as much globalized as the Foreign capitals, or at least we are almost there. He spoke about another problem, namely Globalization of Islamic law. He said he is afraid that the Foreign capitals still worried that we are not there.
Globalism has been posing a host of questions. For instance, exclusivity and sovereignty of national law has been questioned in the domain of International law. Issues like legal pluralism, rule of law and state interdependence are still debated. Muslims are singularized for calling for exception on account of Sharia in International Law. Consequently, globalization of Universal Human Rights, International conventions and treaties relating to judicialization and legality of women rights, protection and custody of children, marriage, divorce and inheritance are considered clashes between global and local.
The presentation was divided into seven sections, brief and small; First, he tried to understand what the terms Globalism and Globalization mean in the present discourse. He explained how this discourse, defines and characterizes these terms and spoke about the genealogy of the terms and history of globalization. In the second section. He will spoke especially about three waves of globalization with reference to the major studies on the subject. In the third section, he tried to answer the question: What’s wrong with globalization especially with the process of the globalization of International law. In sections 4, 5 and 6, he will focus on Islamic law and its tension with Universal Human Rights as globalized International law
A growing perception that a formerly state centered political process is evolving towards a mere multilayered one where other actors interplay in the pursuit of public goals and fulfillment of public tasks. In these discussions Characteristics of Globalism are described:
- Magnitude; a process in which masses are involved,
- restructuring, weakening of state and rise of non- state actors,
- Relativity; rule of law and sovereignty are no longer relevant
Recent mass migrations, global terrorism, ethnic genocide, climate change, destruction of Ozone, immense poverty are examples of the phenomenon of globalism. Globalism is extremely relative and in that sense, it is not ethically oriented. Most of us think in ethical and moral paradigms.. Consequently, movements like global ethics are emerging to deal with issues arising from the abovementioned characteristics of globalism. Naturally, we then turn to the ideas of powerful states and hegemony to prevent disorder. If we look at the genealogy of these terms and history of this process we find that globalism as an idea envisage the future to which human societies are moving and globalization a process that is continuously translating this idea into practice.
History: The term “globalism” came to be used in 1940s in war stricken Europe that looked for a peaceful new world order without war and conflict. The US merged as a hope but it was imagined as a global power. It was a mighty power as Europe was before 1940s. Europe’s usage of the term reflected not only the despair but also its’ position of disparity’. The US with 6.3% of the world population held 50% of the World’s wealth. By 1948 globalism came also to mean ‘globalization’ a process of discovering legal instruments to put globalism into practice and to build institutions to institutionalize global sovereignty and rule of law.
Studies during the next fifty years that developed ideas and theories of the global world were not global in reality; they were still ideas of a global world that reflected the local dreams and anxieties. Critical analysis of these theories mentions six perspectives. I need not go into details because they are Euro-centered with references to Kantian philosophy of universality. This globalism was lopsided because universal citizen, civil society and multiculturality was conceived along with the necessity of global hegemony.
Six perspectives of the theory
- Global conditions of socio-cultural interpretations
- Kantian philosophy of the Universal Citizen
- Political Project founded as transnational institutions like Civil Society
- Notion of Citizen with multiple identities
- International orientation towards global engagement
- Multicultural competence or practice
The Rector, IIUI, Dr. Masoom Yasinzai was the keynote speaker in concluding session of the conference. He lauded the efforts and struggle of Late Professor Dr. Mumtaz Ahmad. He termed him an eminent scholar, researcher and visionary.. He also appreciated the efforts of IRD team including Dr. Husnul Amin, Executive Director, IRD for their hard work towards making the conference successful. He thanked galaxy of American academicians/researchers/scholars and their Pakistani counterparts which included religious scholars, social scientists and civil society activists for interactive sessions with a group of IIU MS and Ph.D scholars and faculty members.
He directed that the proceedings of the conference may be compiled and published by the IRD. He once again congratulated Dr. Munawar Iqbal Gondal, Dean, FLL, IIUI and US delegates for their struggle and efforts. He said that universities were the ultimate platforms to disseminate peace, values and humanity across the globe. He maintained that Islam was a religion of peace which had no place for terrorism.
Dr Husnul Amin, Executive Director IRD while addressing to the audience said that said globalization as a process of time space compression through which people, goods and ideas travel across the borders quickly and at a large scale than ever before in human history. Opportunities brought about by globalization are reaching to the entire world including Pakistan – Economic opportunities, social opportunities, global net working, sharing knowledge, access to advanced scientific knowledge produced in the western universities and research institutions. Cities are important spaces and places where people, cultures, ideas, goods and services interact and intermingle with each other; shape and are shaped by each other. Modern cities are huge in scale and size, diverse in cultures, so in the age of globalization major cities specifically and urban centers generally have become sights of extensive engagement, interactions and contestation.
He added that that even in the Quran and other scriptures, cities have been glorified and celebrated more than rural settings. Cities are important because they provide an opportunity to diverse ethnicity and races as well religious community to come out their insular shells and have the opportunity to emerge as cosmopolitan citizens with popularity of identities. Pakistan is observing the fastest urbanization growth rate in South Asia. Big villages and small towns have already been transferred into urban centre here one can access all kinds of modern means of communication and consumer goods. Leafing through the titles of various presentations in this international conference it gives me immense pleasure that speakers and researchers have touched upon some of the most important and promising research themes.
Dr. Muhammad Sheeraz Dasti, Secretary of the conference also spoke on the occasion and thanked the management for cooperation.
The closing ceremony was also addressed by Dr. Caroline Clements, UNCW,USA, Dr. Munawar Iqbal Gondal, Dean Faculty of Languages and Literature, Dr. Amna Mehmood, Chairperson, Department of Politics and IR, Dr. Ayaz Afsar, Chairman Department of English, Dr. Manzoor Khan Afridi, Head of Department, Politics and IR, IIUI.