Unity in Knowledge: From Islam and Ethics to Exponential Technology and Robotics

Ira Pastor, ideaXme life sciences ambassador interviews Imam Sheikh Dr. Usama Hasan, PhD, MSc, MA, Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and Research Consultant at the Tony Blair Institute For Global Change. In this interview learn of how Imam Dr Hasan transverses his career from scientist to Islamic Scholar to promote knowledge and build unity across disciplines and faiths.

Professor Stephen Hawking and Imama Sheikh Dr Usama Hasan
Imam Sheikh Dr Usama Hasan with Professor Stephen Hawking

Ira Pastor comments:

Today, on the ideaXme show we are going to segue back towards the fascinating intersection of science and spirituality. We are joined by Imam Sheikh Dr. Usama Hasan, most recently Senior Researcher and Head of Islamic Studies at Quilliam International, a think tank and worlds first counter-extremism organization, where he was a founding advisor to the organization since 2008.

Dr. Hasan has a PhD. in Electrical Engineering from Imperial College, University of London, an MA in Theoretical Physics from the University of Cambridge, and a MSc in Mathematics from King’s College, London, and is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and former planetarium lecturer at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich Before joining Quilliam, Dr Hasan was a Senior Lecturer in Engineering at Middlesex University, a visiting Associate Professor at Pakistan’s National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) and a consultant in artificial intelligence throughout UK industry. Fluent in English, Urdu and Arabic, Dr Hasan completed memorising the entire Qur’an by the age of 11.

Imam Sheikh Dr Usama Hasan. Photo credit: Imam Dr Usama Hasan

He has served as a part-time imam since his teens and is a certified transmitter of the Qur’an and Hadith scriptures and has translated a number of Islamic texts into English, including The Islamic Foundation’s “Way of the Prophet”. Dr. Hasan is regularly featured on international television channels, including BBC, CNN , Sky News, Al-Jazeera and has also written various columns for The Times, The Guardian, The Telegraph and the Washington Post. Additionally, Dr. Hasan was a member of the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Projecting British Muslims Delegations to Egypt and Afghanistan, a keynote speaker at the Anglo-Syrian government-sponsored conference “The Message of Peace in Islam”, and Patron of both the Forum for the Discussion of Israel and Palestine (FODIP) and Friends of the Bereaved Families Forum. Dr. Hasan was also a speaker at the Google Ideas/Council on Foreign Relations Summit Against Violent Extremism.

On this episode we will hear from Imam Sheikh Dr. Hasan about: — His early background and development of his passionate interest in of a diverse range of interests including the fields of astronomy, information systems, and Islamic studies — An overview of his development as a thought leader, and campaigning, against extremism (and for) religious reform, within Muslim circles — His arguments for the compatibility of evolutionary theory and Islam — A discussion of some of deeper scientific / technological themes, such as AI, cosmology, and robotics and their connection to Islamic teachings — A Islamic view on the topic of transhumanism — A discussion of his future initiatives / plans

Credits: Ira Pastor interview video, text, and audio. To watch this interview visit ideaXme’s Watch page

Follow Ira Pastor on Twitter:@IraSamuelPastor Follow ideaXme on Twitter:@ideaxm On Instagram:@ideaxme

If you enjoyed this interview you might also enjoy ideaXme’s interview on bioethics with Dr David Magnus, Stanford University.

Ira Pastor, ideaXme life sciences ambassador

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