Recognised as an intellectual voice of great magnitude inside and outside of academic circles, Joseph Massad is a distinguished Columbia University professor and an author of four books and numerous academic articles. Speaking about the subject his latest book delves into, Prof Massad gave a public lecture at Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar (SFS-Q) on the topic of Islam and the Choice of Liberalism.
Abdullah Al Arian, Assistant Professor of History at SFS-Q, introduced the scholar to the audience referring to Prof Massad's work as "cutting-edge scholarship and incisive political commentary on a range of diverse issues that are of much relevance to the areas of study at SFS-Q."
Prof Massad's lecture argued that Islam is a major constituent of liberalism ever since the latter emerged as an ideology and as a political order, a constituent that had to be rejected and disavowed as an other in order for liberalism's self to emerge.
In response to the question of whether he believes that his new book has social applicability to Qatar and its current position on the world's stage, Prof. Massad said, "I believe that the subject matter discussed in my book is of much concern to the population of this region in general. The way I argue that liberalism constitutes Islam and the kind of connections that are made to Islam as a type of regime has much relevance to Qatar and the entire Arab world."
Prof Massad is also a regular contributor of articles and op-eds to Al Jazeera English website, the Al Ahram Weekly based in Cairo, the Lebanese newspaper Al Akhbar among others.