Webinar to explore relationship between Islam, democracy

Alexander Arifianto, left, and Ali Abootalebi

“Can Islam Coexist with Democracy?”, a virtual webinar, will be presented Feb. 9 by the Center for Politics and the People at Ripon College. The talk will run on Zoom from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. Central time.

Iran and Indonesia will be of primary focus in the webinar discussion. Ali Abootalebi and Alexander Arifianto will discuss the political, cultural and socio-economic dynamism of political Islam in Muslim-majority countries. They will draw on comparative experiences of Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian countries to explain the complex web of variables central to understanding Islam and Islamism and the realization of political democracy and development.

Arifianto will participate from Singapore (14 hours ahead of Central time) and Abootalebi from Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The moderator will be Brian Smith, co-director of the Center for Politics and the People and professor emeritus of religion.

Abootalebi is a professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He has researched Islam and democracy in the Middle East and Iran’s political economy. He is also on the Speakers’ Program for the Wisconsin Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies.

Arifianto graduated from Ripon College in 1999. He is a research fellow with the Indonesia Programme, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) – Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. His research interests are political Islam and contemporary Indonesian politics.

The webinar is free, but registration is required at ripon.edu/democracy.

(Photo: Alexander Arifianto, left, and Ali Abootalebi)