Key Research Interests
THE MAGIC INKWELL (a novel)
A CRITICAL INVESTIGATION OF THE PLATONIC INFLUENCE ON NOTIONS OF ISLAMIC CENSORSHIP
A critical and cultural re-examination of the history of rationalism in the Islamic world and story-telling by, to and for Muslims (and others) are needed more than ever at a crucial moment in history, when many fear that Samuel Huntington’s 1992 “clash of civilizations” theory was prescient. In the critical analysis, I investigate the change that marked Islamic notions of censorship after the early enthusiasm for free-thinking philosophical inquiry.
The project will be 75 per cent creative and 25 per cent critical. The fictional work, titled ‘The Magic Inkwell’, is thematically linked with my critical investigation of the Platonic influence on notions of Islamic censorship.
Like a latter-day Arabian Nights, stories will flow from a fictional Magic Inkwell, the Mahbara Hekaayiet, which stands fully five-feet-six-inches high at one end of the flagstone courtyard in the seventh-century Great Mosque of Kairouan in Tunisia. The Inkwell is the eternal fount of every story ever told or yet to be told. The city is host to a Worldwide Conclave of the Faithful. The stories told by Conclave participants will be informed by the critical focus on the gradual concretization of the idea of censorship in Islamic thought and artistic practice.
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