On March 23, Trent’s Centre for Human Rights, Equity and Accessibility (CHREA) will host talks on rights, faith, identity and Muslims, from 4p.m., to 5:30p.m., in Bagnani Hall at Traill College.

Two eminent professors in this field, Dr. Anver Emon and Dr. Mohammad Salama, will give the talks. Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission Renu Mandhane will also open up with welcoming and introductory remarks.

A professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, Emon is a “leading scholar of Islamic law.” This was recognised in October 2014 when he was awarded a Canada Research Chair in religion, pluralism and rule of law, evidence of his “internationally recognized authority on Islamic law and Islamic legal history,” and in 2014 he was also named a Guggenheim Fellow in the field of law.

The Guggenheim Foundation offers fellowships to scholars to assist them in research for any field or in creation of any art.

Emon’s research concentrates on premodern and modern Islamic legal history and theory, pre-modern modes of governance and adjudication and the role of Shari’a both inside and outside the Muslim world.

He is also the author and editor of several books concerning Islamic law and his latest book is Islamic and Jewish Legal Reasoning: Encountering Our Legal Other, work that brought rabbinic and Islamic scholars together.

Soon, he will take up the role of series editor of the Oxford Islamic Legal Studies Series.

Salama is associate professor of Arabic and chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Literature at San Francisco State University.

He is currently completing a monograph on Islam and the Culture of Modern Egypt: 1908-1958, a work of primary research and original scholarship.

His recent works include Islam, Orientalism and Intellectual History and German Colonialism, and his forthcoming book The Qur’an and Modern Arabic Literary Criticism should appear later this year. Salama has also published many articles on comparative literature and modern Arabic literature and film in various journals.

These talks are important at a time when Islam and Muslims are coming under greater scrutiny, ranging from the legitimate interrogation of any religion right through to – and this is the overriding theme unfortunately – discrimination, hostility and racism, particularly in light of the Syrian refugee crisis and Islamic state violence.

The Trent community has been committed to discussing these issues, with events like Islam Awareness Week and the Trent Community Movements’ migration conference seeking to enlighten and tackle this hostile discourse.

CHREA’s role, among other things, is to educate the Trent community on human rights and accessibility, as well as monitor, resolve and provide advice on discrimination, accessibility and human rights complaints.

Come out to the talks on March 23 at Bagnani Hall at Traill College, from 4 until 5:30p.m. The event is free and there will be a reception with free food afterwards (if you weren’t excited enough already, eh).