Department of Political Science 

 Imagining Indigenous and Glocal Democratic Socialism:

Can Freedom, Social Justice, and Civil Spirituality Coexist in Muslim Societies?

27-28 April 2019
University of Alberta
Telus Centre, Room 134


About The Symposium 

International Symposium

Imagining "Indigenous” and "Glocal" Democratic Socialism:


Can Freedom, Social Justice, and Civil Spirituality Coexist in Muslim Societies?

University of Alberta

Telus Centre, Room 134

April 27-28, 2019

In the midst of an organic crisis in much of the Muslim majority societies today, the ordinary people are caught between many rocks and hard places. The ideals of freedom, social justice and human dignity are endangered by the neoliberal global (dis)order, militant and autocratic secular modernity, right-wing populism, and the nativist, regressive and essentialist discourses of Islamism and hyper ethnic nationalism. These global and local discourses have caused many predicaments; they are, however, equally in a profound crisis – they are “exhausted epistemics.”

This international workshop/symposium aims to explore and problematize the conditions of possibility of emancipatory discourses of “indigenous” and “glocal” democratic socialism in Muslim majority societies. It proposes that multiple sources from global experiences and local traditions can contribute to a birth of a genuine and bottom-up humanist democratic socialism. Such a glocal and decolonial approach, Walter Mignolo would suggest, is an “indigenous ways of thinking,” which requires a “simultaneous process” of engagement and “delinking.” In this context, this sympusim/workshop asks can “a trinity of freedom, social justice and civil-progressive spirituality coexist in Muslim societies?” Could it provide a viable alternative counter-hegemonic discourse to the local and global exhausted epistemics?” We will problematize the extent to which novel ideas of public intellectuals such as Ali Shariati’s counter-hegemonic trilogy of “Freedom, Social Justice, and Civil Spirituality,” Mohammad Nakhshab’s idea of “socialist theism,” Khalil Maleki’s notion of “humanist & indigenous socialism,” Mostafa Sho‘a‘iyan’s “singular and uncanonical leftism,” among other radical and intersectional theologies and glocal social theories in Muslim contexts remain “contemporary” and/or contribute to the imagination of emancipatory discourses from within.

This international workshop/symposium and the subsequent publication attempt to theorize and problematize “indigenous and glocal democratic socialism” and “whether and how freedom, social justice and civil spirituality can coexist” in Muslim majority contexts/societies.

Symposium Chair,
Mojtaba Mahdavi, PhD

ECMC Chair in Islamic Studies
Professor, Political Science
Department of PoliticalScience, 

University of Alberta



This event is free & open to the public but please RSVP here. See you soon!

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