In Conversation with Amjad M. Hussain
I welcome you to my conversation with Amjad M. Hussain.
Dr. Amjad M. Hussain is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Divinity at Marmara University, Istanbul, Turkey. Previous to this position he was a Lecturer in Religious Studies at several universities in Wales. His many publications include the books, A Social History of Education in the Muslim World: From the Prophetic Era to Ottoman Times (2013), The Study of Religions: An Introduction (2015), The Muslim Creed: A Contemporary Theological Study (2016) and Islam for New Muslims: An Educational Guide (2018). He has also written a number of chapters for books and published numerous journal articles in the United Kingdom, United States, Malaysia, and Turkey.
In November of 2018 I was invited to speak at the Second International Congress on Spiritual and Religious Care for those incarcerated in prisons. The Congress was sponsored by the Centre for Values at the University in Istanbul. My Turkish hosts asked me to speak about my approach to teaching in Canadian prisons, a matter I have written about in “The School of Joseph: Prison Meditations” which you can read on my website. Over an evening meal in a lovely Turkish restaurant close to the Marble Sea I sat across from Amjad Hussain, young, affable, and full of interest. We had a wide-ranging conversation with many surprises in it. At one point, embarrassed at only knowing a few words in Arabic and Turkish, I spoke one of the few phrases I know in Norwegian, my parents language: “kan du snukke norsk” (“Can you speak Norwegian.”) To my delightful surprise out poured the most beautify natural Norwegian I had heard in years. He was born in Askim, Norway, south of Oslo near the Swedish boarder and speaks the mother tongue I never learned. He grew up in this town of 15,000 people in the homeland of my parents. He is also fluent in his parent’s mother tongues, Urdu, Punjabi, as well as being an Arabic and Turkish speaker.
I welcome you to our conversation on Norway, Islam, and issues of religion and public life.