Barry McNamara  |   Published April 13, 2015

Wilson Fellow

Professor Farhat Haq receives prestigious honor to work on book
Monmouth College political science professor Farhat Haq has received a prestigious residential fellowship from The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. She will spend the 2015-16 academic year in the nation’s capital, working on her upcoming book, “Sacralizing the State: Islam and Democracy in Pakistan.”
“I will be writing about political Islam,” said Haq. “Where is it more fruitful for democracy? What venues are more productive for integrating Islam into democracy, and which are not helpful, not productive?”
Haq’s selection was the result of a highly rigorous process that included three separate review panels. Hers was one of 19 applications selected from a pool of more than 300.
“This is a well-deserved award and I know the project Farhat has been working on will greatly benefit from it,” said MC’s dean of the faculty, David Timmerman. “It is wonderful recognition of her excellence in scholarship and of the quality faculty we have here at Monmouth.”
Prior to departing for the nation’s capital, she’ll be in Pakistan for almost three months this summer, “looking through archives, conducting interviews and gathering other research materials.” Added Haq, who expects to have a completed manuscript at the end of her fellowship. “I’m looking forward to having full days devoted to writing.”
Haq regularly teaches during the summer at the Lahore University of Management Sciences, one of the top universities in her native Pakistan, and she currently serves as treasurer on the executive committee of the American Institute of Pakistan Studies. Most of her research for the book centers around Pakistan, with additional research from Egypt, Turkey and Tunisia.
Haq explained that “sacralization of the state” is the process whereby governments have selectively used and inserted Islamic law in order to strengthen their political power. However, when selective Islamic elements are inserted onto post-colonial states, it becomes next to impossible to interrogate, reform or reassess the outcomes of ensuing laws and their broader repercussions.
The unique contribution of her project is that she engages the growing scholarship on Islamist political parties in the electoral process, and the emergence of civil Islam, to explore the mechanisms that allow for accommodation of faith in the public life without focusing exclusively on making the state Islamic.
Established by law in 1968 as the United States’ memorial to its 28th president, the Wilson Center seeks to commemorate both the scholarly interests and the public concerns of Woodrow Wilson by fostering advanced research and linking the world of learning with the world of public affairs.
Located at 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, just down the street from the White House, the center emphasizes breadth of representation in its international company of scholars and offers a forum for the widest diversity of views. By bringing scholars from around the world to Washington, D.C., encouraging lively debate among disciplines and professions, and publishing and broadcasting the results of these activities, the center enriches the quality of knowledge and debate in the nation’s capital and throughout the world.
Haq said she will regularly gather with the other Wilson Fellows on Friday afternoons and share their research, much like Monmouth College’s faculty colloquium program, which also meets on Friday afternoons. Other opportunities for Haq will include writing for Wilson Center publications, conducting media outreach, attending talks and speaking at public events.
Haq earned her master’s degree in government from Cornell University in 1983 and her Ph.D. in government from Cornell in 1987. In her sixth year on Monmouth’s faculty, she won the prestigious Burlington Northern Foundation Faculty Achievement Award.
Haq’s Wilson Fellowship comes on the heels of several Monmouth faculty members who have been named Fulbright Scholars in recent years, including biology professor James Godde, who is currently in Mauritius. Others include Amy de Farias (Mozambique) and Bren Tooley (Bulgaria), as well as Bridget Draxler, who is currently in the midst of a five-year Fulbright Specialist Program appointment.
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