In light of the recent murders in Atlanta, which targeted persons of Asian descent, the SSME Board wishes to make a statement explicitly condemning hate speech and violence against Asian Americans. In the last year the U.S.  has witnessed broader patterns of discrimination and violence against Asian Americans, and an estimated 3,800 incidents have been reported. Racism and xenophobia poison the well of our democracy and our shared life together. Moreover, it’s important to note that many of the victims of last Tuesday’s shootings were women; misogyny and racism too frequently go together. We call for justice for the victims’ families and stand more broadly in solidarity with our neighbors of Asian descent. The SSME continues to be guided by principles of justice and accountability, working to support scholarship and activism that addresses and dismantles racist and misogynist thinking and social structures.

The Board of the SSME expresses outrage and grief at the murders of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arberry, David McAtee, George Floyd, and countless others who are victims of police brutality, especially Black Americans. Moreover, we affirm the dignity of persons and communities who have been harmed and continue to be harmed by the pernicious violence of a defunct criminal justice system, but also by disparities in healthcare—a reality particularly apparent in the COVID-19 pandemic. We condemn the ideology of White supremacy that undercuts efforts at social reform, and too frequently manifests in a dangerous complicity with the status quo. We express our solidarity with all victims of systemic racism and colonialism, and commit to working towards the eradication of all such forms of injustice in our collective scholarship and activism. Within our organization and beyond it, we seek to foster communities centered on justice, accountability, and a critical awareness of the relationship between present injustices and histories of domination and exploitation.

In the coming weeks and months, we will be identifying actions to take as an organization to address racial injustice. Additionally, we recognize the work necessary for unlearning racism. Here are some resources we will be using, and recommend that others consult:

#BlackIslamSyllabus – link here

Muslim ARC (Anti-Racism Collaborative) –

Sapelo Square (an online resource on black Muslims in the US) –

Dear SSME Members:

In the wake of Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks at this week’s meeting of the World Zionist Congress, the folks at Wiley-Blackwell have kindly consented to our request to make the following two articles from JRE 43.4 freely available online for the next month:

Michael A. Sells, “Holocaust Abuse: The Case of Hajj Muhammad Amin al-Husayni” 

Ronald M. Green, “Response to Michael Sells”

(The entire issue can be found at )

Please feel free to circulate and share with your colleagues, students, and other interested parties.


Aline Kalbian

Martin Kavka

Editors, Journal of Religious Ethics


ReOrient: The Journal of Critical Muslim Studies

ReOrient is a new peer reviewed, international and interdisciplinary journal of Critical Muslim Studies. It is published by Pluto Journals. The journal is a sustained collective thought experiment that seeks to explore the consequences of producing knowledge that is no longer organized around the axis of West and non-West.

For more information and to submit articles for review, please visit


The Human Rights and Global Justice Research Group at Wake Forest University

invites paper proposals for a conference on the broad topic of

Religion, Violence, and Peace

April 9-11, 2015

Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Deadline proposals: December 15, 2014

Our chief aim is to bring together multi-disciplinary scholars working on the topic of religion, violence, and peacemaking from historical as well as contemporary perspectives. In particular, we are interested in papers that probe the complex patterns of interaction between religious commitments and violence in a variety of cultural and regional contexts, the ways in which violence is sacralized, and the use of religious beliefs and practices to justify, mitigate or redirect violence in less destructive channels.

Through keynote presentations and group discussion after each speaker, this conference will provide opportunities to deepen our understanding of the patterns of religious violence and the nature and scope of our moral responses to them.

Synthesis and dialogue will be facilitated by asking presenters from one day to serve as respondents on the other day and keynote speakers whose research explicitly addresses the intersections between religion and violence. We plan to publish the best papers from the conference.

Among the topics papers might address are the following:

  • The roots of different types of violence in their specific contexts
  • The use of religious texts as legitimation of violence; competing interpretations of religious texts to incite or to oppose violence.
  • Religious violence perpetrated by the State.
  • Assessments of religious ethical approaches to war and peacemaking;
  • Religious violence as a tool of state domestic and/or foreign policy
  • Models of religious responses to violence;
  • Religious strategies of conflict resolution and peacemaking initiatives  
  • Non-Muslim minorities in religiously pluralistic context.
  • Gendered strategies to promote or counter violence.
  • The role of violence in sustaining cultures of faith, economy, and collective and personal identity
  • Political and economic factors that influence certain forms of violence.
  • The links between religion, violence and economic conditions.
  • The impact of education and the role of children.
  • Religious justification of the use of violence to promote religious rights and human rights.

Submission Details:

Please send abstracts of approximately 500 – 800 words to both:
Simeon Ilesanmi ( and Nelly van Doorn-Harder (

Deadline: December 15, 2014.

An affiliate of the WFU Humanities Institute, the Human Rights and Global Justice Research Group is an incubator and a hub for faculty research, programs, and events devoted to issues of human rights and global justice.