Re-examining the place of textuality in Islamic Studies

Religious Freedom and the Politics of Islamic Reform

Elizabeth Shakman Hurd


Youcef Soufi

February 16, 2021


Professor Elizabeth Shakman Hurd joins the Reading Muslims podcast to discuss state surveillance of Muslims. She situates the discussion through freedom of religion within the American project and explores how it is used as a device to further US political interests abroad. This podcast episode also explores how language can be co-opted by civilizational discourse and how this effects the way Islamic texts are read and perceived by the state. 

Host: Youcef Soufi
Recorded: October 8, 2020

Elizabeth Shakman Hurd

Elizabeth Shakman Hurd is Professor of Political Science and Crown Chair in Middle East Studies at Northwestern University. She specializes in the politics of religion in U.S. foreign policy and in international relations. Her areas of focus are on the history and politics of U.S-Middle East relations, particularly Turkey and Iran. She is one of the core members of the state surveillance hub for the reading Muslims project.

Youcef Soufi

Youcef Soufi is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto’s Institute of Islamic Studies, where he is Co-Principal Investigator of the Reading Muslims Project. Trained in classical Islamic Law, Dr. Soufi is currently working on a book project that analyzes Islamophobia and State Surveillance in the post 9/11 period by focusing on the case of three University of Manitoba students (two Canadians and one American) who left their promising lives in Canada in 2007 to join al-Qaeda in the mountains of Northern Pakistan.

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