Posts Tagged ‘Muslims’

This Thursday at noon the Council will host leading Islamic thinker Tariq Ramadan. He is a controversial figure and was barred by the Bush administration from entering the United States in 2004. Now, less than a year after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lifted the travel ban, he will join the Council to discuss why Western Muslims should escape the mental, social, cultural and religious isolation many have created for themselves, while at the same time, why the west should recognize its Muslim neighbors as citizens with rights and responsibilities the same as their own. For more information about the program or to register, visit our website here.

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Why are women treated poorly in Islam? And, why don’t moderate Muslims denounce jihad? Tamim Ansary, author of Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes, offered his perspective on these two most frequently asked questions at the Council last Thursday. Ansary describes himself as a storyteller and has recently focused on the story of the Islamic world, how it differs from Western history and how the two are beginning to cross paths like never before. He spoke about the Muslim idea of “ummah,” or community, and the ways it has changed over many centuries. Ansary closed by speaking on the threat of Islamic fundamentalism and said that the way to diffuse this threat is to address underlying issues, such as land ownership and water rights, that drive Muslims to fundamentalism and jihadist actions.

To hear the full program with Tamim Ansary, visit our audio archive here.

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October has been a busy month at the Council. We’ve had programs about issues ranging from the resource curse of oil to the ways game theory can be applied to national security challenges. There was one region, the Middle East, which was given particular attention as we strove to provide the community with multiple perspectives of the region, its people, and the challenges they face.

On October 15, we welcomed Ambassador Hossam Zaki, Senior Political Advisor to Egypt’s Foreign Minister. He spoke about the Arab-Israeli conflict as well as Egypt’s work to aid peace and stability in the Palestinian territories. Dalia Mogahed, Senior Analyst and Executive Director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, joined us on October 21 to discuss the results and findings of Gallup’s recent survey of 50,000 Muslims from more than 35 countries.

Then, on October 22, we hosted a conversation between the former Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Olmert and Council CEO Jane Wales. Olmert responded to questions about Iran’s nuclear ambitions and the economic situation in the West Bank and Gaza, but particularly focused on the peace proposal he made to the Palestinians in September 2008. We concluded our Middle East perspectives series on October 27 with a program featuring Ambassador Maen Areikat, PLO Representative to the United States. Areikat discussed the ongoing hardships that Palestinians endure under occupation as well as how the Palestinians must heal internal divisions between Hamas and Fatah in order to secure a Palestinian state.

If you missed a program, check our online archive. To learn more about Gallup’s survey of Muslims, go to MuslimWestFacts.com. You can also read an editorial by Maen Areikat from the SF Chronicle here.

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This month the World Affairs Council is dedicating three programs to the Middle East peace process with the intent of providing three very different perspectives. The first will come from Ambassador Hossam Zaki, Senior Political Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt, Ahmed Aboul Gheit. The Council will welcome Ambassador Zaki this Thursday, October 15 at noon. Egypt has been a primary member of peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine, and has also been serving as an intermediary between Hamas and Fatah with the goal of forming a Palestinian unity government.

Our second event will feature former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on October 22 at 6:30 PM. The Council will also host a counterpoint perspective with PLO Representative Maen Areikat on October 27 also at 6:30 PM. The BBC published an interview yesterday with Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s Foreign Minister, who discussed the prospects of an early solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. You can read it here.

In addition to these programs, the Council will also welcome Dalia Mogahed, Senior Analyst and Executive Director at the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, on October 21 at noon. She will present findings from Gallup’s largest study of Muslims. The results challenge conventional wisdom and shed greater light on what motivates Muslims worldwide, whose population is now measured at 1.57 billion.

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