Inaugural ASMEA Conference
Evolution of Islamic Politics, Philosophy and Culture in the Middle East and Africa: From Traditional Limits to Modern Extremes


April 24-26, 2008 | Washington Marriott Wardman Park | Washington, D.C.

Paper Presentations

Nineteen papers were presented by a diverse array of academics and policy analyst at ASMEA’s inaugural conference in 2008. Their research focused on the profound Islamic influence in these regions and included analysis of: theological and practical traditions of Islamic politics and culture; the meaning of war in Islam; Jihad and terrorism in Iran, Egypt, Algeria, Iraq, Tunisia and Somalia; the concept of feminism in Islam and the Middle East; and the practice of martyrdom in Palestinian culture, among others.

Professor Bernard Lewis’s Keynote Speech

ASMEA’s Chairman, Professor Bernard Lewis, addressed an audience of over 200 people on Friday, April 25th in a keynote speech to the attendees of the 2008 ASMEA conference. Entitled “Studying the Other: Different Ways of Looking at the Middle East and Africa,” his speech discussed the threat to the freedom of scholarly inquiry regarding these two regions and the prospects for enhancing the body of knowledge in an open and inter-disciplinary manner.

Africa Roundtable

Potential explanations for the current instability in Africa were examined during a conference roundtable featuring Dr. J. Peter Pham (James Madison University), BGen Richard Vercauteren (USMC, ret.), and Dr. Michael Vlahos (Johns Hopkins University, Applied Physics Laboratory).