Hall Center For The Humanities


Akbar Ahmed
Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies, American University; author of Islam Under Siege: Living Dangerously in a Post-Honor World

"A Conversation with Akbar Ahmed"
Humanities Lecture Series

Fri., Feb. 18, 2005, 10:00am - 11:30am
Location: Hall Center Conference Hall
The BBC calls Dr. Akbar Ahmed the world?s best-known scholar on contemporary Islam. He is the former High Commissioner of Pakistan to Great Britain and has advised Prince Charles and President Bush. Since September 11, he has gained a reputation for demystifying Muslim beliefs and deconstructing the popular culture and fanaticism surrounding them.

His most recent book, Islam Under Siege: Living Dangerously in a Post-Honor World (2002), has provided the backdrop for many of his lectures. His basic thesis is to present the concept of ?izzat? or honor, an ancient principle of respect between groups of differing cultures and beliefs. In the book, Ahmed explains how traditional Islam, a non-violent belief system which values women and respects outsiders, is struggling against the neo-conservative, fanatical elements that make up groups like the Taliban and al-Qaeda. His analysis also covers the breakdown of communication between the Middle East and the West and what can be done about it. Chief among his suggestions is the belief that the West needs to do a better job of listening to other parts of the world that are questioning consumerism, community and globalization. The West is an engine of change throughout the world, but Ahmed believes it can?t be a truly effective tool until it begins a dialogue with those who think differently.

Dr. Ahmed is a prolific author. Besides Islam Under Siege, his works include: Discovering Islam: Making Sense of Muslim History and Society (2002), Jinnah, Pakistan and Islamic identity: The Search for Saladin (1997), Islam, Globalization and Postmodernity (1994) and Postmodernism and Islam: Predicament and Promise (1994).

He has been featured frequently in both U.S. and British media, including appearances on ?The Oprah Winfrey Show,? CNN, MSNBC and NBC Nightly News. He is the recipient of the 2002 Free Speech Award given by the Muslim Public Affairs Council and is currently the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies and Professor of International Relations at The American University in Washington D.C.

Partial funding for the Humanities Lecture Series is provided by The National Endowment for the Humanities' 2000 Challenge Grant

Co-sponsored by KPR

Fri., Feb. 18, 2005

10:00-11:30 a.m.

Hall Center Conference Hall
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