Montclair State University to Present Justice and Civil Society in the Muslim World Lecture Series

March 5 – April 25, 2012

Montclair, NJ, February 22, 2012—Montclair State University’s Global Education Center will present a multidisciplinary program of nineteen lectures, films, and readings examining the complex and diverse culture, history, and politics of the Arab region as it struggles to achieve a new sense of justice.  Justice and Civil Society in the Muslim World kicks off on Monday, March 5, 2012 with “Reporting on the Arab Spring: One Year Later,” a lecture by celebrated NPR journalist Deborah Amos, who will discuss the impact of recent grassroots protests and uprisings.

“Planning for the two-month-long series began more than a year and a half ago – well before the Arab Spring,” said Marina Cunningham, executive director of the Global Education Center. “This is truly an exciting, University-wide event that was organized by different faculty across different disciplines to present a mix of different points of view.”

On March 21, keynote speaker, Pervez Hoodbhoy, will explore the current state of culture and science and the implications of an uncertain future in “Afghanistan-Pakistan After the American Exit.” A renowned nuclear scientist and avid supporter of nuclear disarmament in Pakistan, Hoodbhoy is the author of Islam and Science: Religious Orthodoxy and the Battle for Rationality.

Panel discussions are scheduled to address such topics as the role of the free press and social media in recent revolutions in the Middle East; human rights in Afghanistan; and the impact of secular and religions groups on democratization in the Muslim world. Henrik Melius, director of Spiritus Mundi; Muhamed Sacirbey, the producer of the famous U2 concert in Bosnia; and musician Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary fame will discuss how music is an agent of positive social change.

Film screenings and poetry and dramatic readings will highlight the complex, fascinating, and multi-faceted world of Muslim culture. Parvez Sharma’s A Jihad for Love, an award-winning documentary about gay, lesbian, and transgender Muslims, and comedian Ahmed Ahmed’s Just Like Us, which uses comedy to comment on socially relevant issues, are among the scheduled films.

The series includes lectures on topics ranging from racial profiling in America to the lives of women in the Middle East, as well as several poetry and dramatic readings.

Justice and Civil Society in the Muslim World is made possible by a grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and by additional support from the Violet Jabara Charitable Trust, the Rouha Foundation, and the Islamic Center of Passaic County.

To view a complete list of events and speakers, visit Justice and Civil Society in the Muslim World.  

All events are open to the public and are free of charge.

Montclair State University
Montclair State University offers a comprehensive array of undergraduate and graduate programs to a highly diverse population of 18,500 students in an expansive university setting combined with an intensive focus on student learning and success. For more information, visit montclair.edu.

Media Contact:  Diane Reed, 973-655-4334 or reeddi@mail.montclair.edu