On Sunday, November 4th, Dr. Stefano Bigliardi, a Professor in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at AUI, presented his recent Italian book on pseudoscience in the Muslim world in Lugano, Switzerland. His book titled "La Mezzaluna e la Luna Dimezzata: Islam, Pseudoscienza e Paranormale", which translates to "The Crescent Moon and the Half Moon: Islam, Pseudoscience and Paranormal", was recently published by the Italian Committee for the Investigation of Claims of the Pseudosciences (CICAP).
In an interview with the Italian-language newspaper, Corriere del Ticino, on October 30th, Dr. Bigliardi spoke about the focus of the book being surrounded around the idea of "scientific miracle" in the Quran, and how the employment of this concept in the modern Muslim world has become more and more popular. In the interview, Dr. Bigliardi claimed, "It is based on the exaggeration of the alleged accuracy with which these phenomena would be described. The supporters of the so-called scientific miracle exaggerate the accuracy, claiming that it was not within the reach of a human observer at the time of revelation. And if the phenomenon is described with that precision, it is clear that information must come only from God." An example of this is given as well, as he states," we must take into consideration that the Quran is written in a very ancient Arabic language, with polysemantic terms that can therefore be translated in various ways. One of these is mudgha, which literally means "small pile of chewed meat." (Proponents of the scientific miracle) claim that this description of the pile of chewed meat corresponds exactly to a precise initial stage in the development of the human embryo. There are hyper-simplifications in progress. In some cases it is unknown that the specific information was already available to men and women of the time of the profession. And then you exaggerate with the precision of the Quranic language, trying to attribute to it a precision that science has reached only in our days. Moreover, the supporters of the scientific miracle must, by necessity, ignore all the other passages of the book which, if taken to the letter, are in contradiction with science. In the verse according to which God created the Earth by stretching it, the same verb is used that is used for carpets. It would therefore seem that the Quran gives a ‘flat earth’ reading of the phenomenon. If one wants to maintain that the Quran is always accurate from the scientific point of view, one must make a selective reading and exaggerate its presumed precision."
Faculty members at AUI continue to display excellency in the international arena. Most recently Dr. Katja Žvan Elliott, an Associate Professor in North African and Middle East Studies at the University, was published in the UK based Palgrave Handbook of Women's Political Rights with her chapter entitled, "Morocco: Ongoing Struggle for More Representation." In this most recent publication of her work, Dr. Žvan Elliott explores the often overlooked relationship between lower political representation of women in Morocco and the country’s delays in human development in addition to the persisting patriarchal mentalities which cut across class, regional, and urban-rural divides. The chapter focuses on the understanding of the post-colonial consolidation of the regime, which included a co-optation of, at first, select political parties and conservative rural notables, and since the 1990s increasingly also women’s rights organizations. Through this, Žvan-Elliott is able to argue that despite the introduction of women’s quotas in 2002 (as well as men’s quotas) women’s rights agenda continues to be depoliticized, while the political space has not (yet) become more democratized and gender-inclusive.
A link to the publication can be found here: https://www.palgrave.com/gp/book/9781137590732?fbclid=IwAR0HO-1jOwgJEze-LYrybX1fLow5rHvN_LiLd3qfTV5gngPCeDQXc7w8c-Y
On Sunday, October 21st, the Azrou Badminton Club won second place in the Badminton Throne Cup Competition which took place in Azrou. Fourteen badminton clubs participated from various different regions in Morocco, namely Azrou, Kenitra, Marrakech, Mohammedia, Guelmima, Casablanca, Safi, Ain Harroud, and Fez. The first place winner was the Marrakech club, a veteran team in the competition of seven years, with Azrou coming in second. The Azrou club was composed of 28 players from ASI.