AAIMS Conference 2021

Third National Conference Australian Association of Islamic and Muslim Studies (AAIMS)

Conference Convenors: Karima Laachir (ANU), A/Prof Halim Rane (Griffith University) and A/Prof Zuleyha Keskin (Charles Sturt University).

AAIMS is Australia’s leading academic association for scholars engaged in research and the dissemination of knowledge about Islam and Muslim societies. The Association is interdisciplinary and fosters a network of academics based at Australian universities to generate opportunities for joint scholarly research across disciplines and institutions, disseminate research by its members, and promote national and international collaborations.

AAIMS’ third national conference will be held on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 14-16 September 2021 and will be hosted online at the Australian National University, Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies in Canberra.

The central theme of this year’s conference, “The Future of Islam and Humanity: Local and Global Challenges and Opportunities”, is meant to challenge decades-long perceptions of Islam as antithetical to peaceful coexistence and encourage papers that discuss the challenges and opportunities for Islamic and Muslim studies in local and global contexts. Participants are encouraged to consider the significance of the current time-period – by the latter half of this century, Islam is expected to have more followers than any other religion on the planet, surpassing Christianity for the first time in history. A focus on humanity refers to the collectively of human beings but also connotes the qualities of being humane, kind and compassionate, terms that have come to be proclaimed more loudly in the wake of the 2019 Christchurch massacre, COVID-19 pandemic and protests around the world calling for systemic change in support of human rights, equality and a more ethical, fair and just planet and for its inhabitants.

The conference will also feature an online roundtable discussion with prominent leaders in the fields of Islamic and Muslim Studies on the state of the fields of Islamic and Muslim Studies from global and national perspectives. This roundtable will provide insight on prominent areas of research today and propose new research directions for the future.

The conference welcomes presentations by academics of all levels including early career researchers and PhD students. We will have specific sessions to support participants involved in Higher Degree Research and Early Career Academics (ECRs).

Keynote Presentation

The 2021 AAIMS conference will feature a keynote presentation delivered by Prof. Ibrahim Zain of Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Qatar, who will discuss new research on the Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad, arguably the most ground-breaking research in the field of Islamic Studies today.

The provenance of these mysterious documents has been an enigma and questions have been raised about their authenticity and textual accuracy. There exists numerous copies of the covenants of the Prophet Muhammad in monasteries and patriarchates which were once under the rule of Islam, as well as in public libraries. Despite receiving only elusive mention in the Islamic sources, we nevertheless find that the Islamic tradition and non-Muslim historical sources agree that the Prophet Muhammad and the early Muslims issued documents of protection to the various faith communities which they encountered. This shared historical memory is most certainly based on historical fact, which leads us to ask: Where are these original documents today? Could it be that the copies of these documents which have been preserved in Christian, Jewish, Magi, and Samaritan sources are faithful replicas of the original documents, or at the very least in spirit? If so then this would categorically demonstrate that the early Muslims sought to build positive relations with people of other faiths, with the intent of peaceful coexistence.

Conference Program

AAIMS 2021 Conference - Program


Conference Abstracts