[act-ma] 3/15 You Don't Know Us: Voices from the Moderate Muslim Majority

Ford Hall Forum info at fordhallforum.neu.edu
Thu Mar 8 05:44:34 PST 2007


The Ford Hall Forum Free Public Lecture
and Discussion Series presents

You Don¹t Know Us: 
Voices from the Moderate Muslim Majority



with
Ali S. Asani and Mona Eltahawy
moderated by Jeff Jacoby

Thursday, March 15, at 6:30-8:00 pm
at the
Old South Meeting House
(directions at www.fordhallforum.org/directions.html)

-FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC-

The world¹s 1.4 billion Muslims encompass an enormous range of beliefs and
practices, a world of cultures‹from Arab to post-Soviet to Indian to
American, and a wide spectrum of movements‹from liberal progressive to
Islamist. However, today¹s headlines all too often highlight the familiar
stories of violence and extremism within the Islamic world.  Is religion
truly the driving force behind these actions?  Where is the space for voices
of the moderate majority to be heard?  In our country, where many became
acquainted with Islam only in the context of September 11th, how can we
better understand this major world religion?  Tonight, Prof. Ali Asani and
Mona Eltahawy explore the tensions within modern Islam and how we can better
understand them.  

Ali S. Asani is currently Professor of the Practice of Indo-Muslim Languages
and Culture at Harvard University.  He is also a member of the board of
directors of the American Islamic Congress as well as the Academic Council
of Prince Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Georgetown
University.  Mona Eltahawy is an award-winning New York-based journalist and
commentator and an international lecturer on Arab and Muslim issues.  Jeff
Jacoby is an op-ed columnist for The Boston Globe.

Come join the conversation.



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617-373-5800.

The Ford Hall Forum presents this program in collaboration with the Old
South Meeting House, as part of their Partners in Public Dialogue Series.
Old South Meeting House is a non-profit museum and historic site, located on
the Freedom Trail, dedicated to sustaining the building¹s tradition as a
community-gathering place for the free exchange of ideas and to provide a
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more information.

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Additional biographical information:
Born in Nairobi, Kenya, Ali S. Asani is currently Professor of the Practice
of Indo-Muslim Languages and Culture at Harvard University.  He also serves
on the faculty of the Dept. of Sanskrit and Indian Studies. He has taught at
Harvard since 1983, offering instruction in a variety of languages such as
Urdu/Hindi, Sindhi, Gujarati and Swahili as well as courses on various
aspects of the Islamic tradition. He is a member of the board of directors
of the American Islamic Congress as well as the Academic Council of Prince
Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Georgetown University.
Besides his various language courses, he also directs the university's Ph.D.
program in Indo-Muslim Culture and teaches numerous courses within the
program.  His books include, among numerous others, Celebrating Muhammad:
Images of the Prophet in Muslim Devotional Poetry (co-author); Al-Ummah: A
Handbook for an Identity Development Program for North American Muslim
Youth; Ecstasy and Enlightenment: The Ismaili Literature of South Asia.  In
addition to his books, he has published numerous articles in journals and
encyclopedias including The Encylopedia of Religion, The Oxford Encylopedia
of the Modern Islamic World, Encylopedia of South Asian Folklore, and the
Muslim Almanac. He also serves on the editorial advisory board of the Oxford
Encyclopedia of the Islamic World and the Encyclopedia of Islam in the
United States. 
 
Mona Eltahawy is an award-winning New York-based journalist and commentator
and an international lecturer on Arab and Muslim issues. Her essays make her
one of only a few writers whose work appears regularly in both the Arab and
U.S. media.  Her opinion pieces have appeared frequently in the
International Herald Tribune, The Washington Post and the pan-Arab Asharq
al-Awsat newspaper and she has also published opeds in The New York Times,
the Christian Science Monitor, Egypt's al-Dostour and Lebanon's Daily Star.
She recently became a columnist for the major Danish daily Politiken and the
online commentary site www.saudidebate.com.  Over the past year, she has
lectured and taken part in conferences across the United States as well as
in Canada, Denmark, Dubai, Egypt, Greece, Ireland, Morocco, The Netheralands
and Qatar.  Ms Eltahawy was a news reporter in the Middle East for many
years, including in Cairo and Jerusalem as a correspondent for Reuters and
she reported from the region for The Guardian and U.S. News and World
Report.  Since she moved to the U.S. in 2000.  She has been a guest analyst
on ABC Nightline, PBS Frontline, BBC TV and Radio, The Doha Debates, CNN,
Al-Arabiya, Al-Hurra, MSNBC, VOA, Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor and various
NPR shows. She was born in Egypt and has lived in the U.K, Saudi Arabia and
Israel and is currently based in New York. She is a board member of the
Progressive Muslim Union of North America.

Jeff Jacoby (moderator) is an op-ed columnist for The Boston Globe.  Before
joining the Globe in 1994, he was the chief editorial writer at Boston
Herald.  A native of Cleveland, Jacoby graduated with honors from George
Washington University in 1979 and from Boston University Law School in 1983.
He practiced law for a short time at the firm of Baker & Hostetler, but
returned to Boston to become deputy manager of Ray Shamie's 1984 campaign
for the US Senate. From 1985 to 1987, Jacoby was an assistant to Dr. John
Silber, who at the time was president of Boston University.  In addition to
his print work, Jacoby has been a political commentator for WBUR-FM,
Boston's National Public Radio affiliate. For several years he hosted "Talk
of New England," a weekly television program, and has often appeared as a
panelist on WCVB-TV's "Five on Five." He is an overseer of the Huntington
Theatre Company, the largest resident theatre in Boston, and is on the board
of The Concord Review, a quarterly journal of essays on history by secondary
students worldwide.  

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