The IIS is deeply grateful to everyone who held space to process and grieve, in the wake of the tragic murders in London, ON last month. During that time, the Reading Muslims network compiled and posted a series of reflections in solidarity with …
On April 22, 2021, the Council of the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) unanimously voted (with one abstention) to censure the University of Toronto for violating academic freedom in the hiring process for the Faculty of Law’s …
On the evening of June 6, 2021, 20-year old Nathanial Veltman decided to maim, murder, and erase from existence, a family of Muslims out on a daily walk, simply because they were Muslim. According to media reports, he got in his car and mowed them …
Who we are
As an academic crossroad, the IIS takes inspiration from its location in Toronto, Canada. Canada triangulates between multiple legal systems, language traditions, and cultural values. It is a country constitutive of and constituted by linkages, relations, and networks of exchange. The world’s most diverse city, Toronto represents the creative tension that comes from triangulating across multiplicity. As Mecca was a crossroads for the ancient caravans between the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean, Toronto is a crossroads across which people, ideas, cultures, values and law move. Based at the University of Toronto, the IIS embraces the University’s Mission Statement, affirming the university’s singular role in democratic societies to foster “radical, critical teaching and research” in the pursuit of the “liberated human spirit.” An advanced research center, the IIS trains tomorrow’s researchers, who will change how we study Islam and Muslims for generations to come.
What we do
At the outset of the new millennium, Islam and Muslims have become flashpoints for how we relate to one another. As contested figures in our world today, Islam and the embodied Muslim offer standpoints from which to interrogate fundamental questions of human existence. Through a range funding streams, the IIS develops and oversees collaborative research labs in which scholars in the study of Islam and Muslims use their expertise to investigate foundational, fundamental questions about the human community and its relation to the planet. Transforming the study of Islam and Muslims into critical vantage points, the research labs promise a panoramic diagnosis of where we are, how we got here, and how we might move in new directions. For the research labs, click here.
Why we do it
The IIS promotes advanced research in Islamic and Muslim studies. As an advanced research center, it places a premium on curiosity, on asking new questions, and exploring new avenues of inquiry. Notwithstanding the current political climate, intellectual advances are not measured by the number of re-Tweets or Facebook ‘likes’ and ‘shares’. However, as a research institute at a public university, the IIS exists at a time when people, communities, and states around the world vigorously instrumentalize ‘Islam’ and the ‘Muslim’ to justify a wide range of activity. Recognizing the important role a public university plays in a democratic society, the IIS leverages the excellence of advanced research into a range of public engagement tools directed at the local, national, and global levels.