Secularism and Secularity in Islam – The Muslim Experience in India

CSID Monthly Lecture Series

Secularism and Secularity in Islam – The Muslim Experience in India

Dr. Asghar Ali Engineer, Chairman, Centre for Study of Society and Secularism, Mumbai, India delivered his talk on Secularism and Secularity in Islam – The Muslim Experience in India on Wednesday, June 21, 2006 (12:00 Noon – 1:30 PM) at the Center for the Study of Islam & Democracy (CSID), 1625 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Suite 601. Washington DC, 20036.  Click here to view the lecture.


About the Speaker:  


Dr. Asghar Ali Engineer is the leading Indian scholar and activist on communal violence, Islam and secularism in India.  His works include over forty published books and numerous articles in leading Indian journals.  He is well known for his investigation of communal politics, a term that in India covers conflicts based on religious, caste and other identities that have come to be characterized by high levels of tension and violence.  Dr Engineer’s publications include numerous studies of violence, including Communalism and Communal Violence (1985); the Delhi-Meerut Riots (1988); The Politics of Confrontation (1990), which examined the violence at the Babri Masjid and its role in the rise of  the Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP in India in the 1990s; and most recently, Carnage (2003) which examines the factors leading up to and events of the riots in Gujarat in 2002.  This work includes investigations of the rise of ideologies that minorities’ efforts to claim their rights are unwarranted impositions on the dominant majority, and the role of social, economic, and ideological factors in fomenting violent confrontations. 


Dr Engineer’s Centre for the Study of Society and Secularism ( plays a leading role in the study of social conflict, is a source of information and sustains awareness of these conflicts and their effects on communities, and promotes efforts to create peaceful means of dispute resolution such as through seminars on peace and conflict resolution.  In 1997, The Government of India honored Dr. Engineer with its prestigious Communal Harmony Award in recognition of his efforts to promote civic harmony and awareness and  protection of human rights.  Dr. Engineer also has been granted an honorary Doctor of Literature degree from Calcutta University.  In 2002, Dr Engineer was honored with a festcrift, Competing Nationalisms in South Asia: Essays for Asghar Ali Engineer, edited by Paul R Brass and Achin Vanaik.