March Programs

     The aim of the series is to encourage cross-cultural understanding of the Muslim world.  One of the many false assumptions associated with the Muslim world is a long-held view that the Muslim world
is by nature resistant to change and democracy. This series of events challenges such essentialist views by bringing attention to the grassroots efforts that have been made by civil society actors to instigate change and attain a sense of justice in the Muslim world.  The growing protest movements and uprisings in some countries have made this subject matter particularly topical.
We hope that this program will serve to dispel existing stereotypes and serve to create a better understanding of the complexity and diversity that exist in most Muslim societies. All events are open
to the public and free of charge.

Organized By:
Montclair State University’s Global Education Center, College of the Arts, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Education and Human Services

Departments of:
Art and Design, Broadcasting, Communication Studies, Educational Foundations, English, History, Modern Languages and Literatures, Philosophy and Religion, Political Science and Law, Theater and Dance

Monday, March 5 6:00 p.m. Cohen Lounge, Dickson Hall

Deborah Amos headshot

Deborah Amos

Lecture: The Arab Spring: The Changing Political Landscape

Journalist Deborah Amos will discuss recent developments in the region. Her reports can be heard on NPR’s awardwinning Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition. She has reported for television news, including ABC’s Nightline and World News Tonight and the PBS programs NOW with Bill Moyers and Frontline. Amos has won many awards, including the Edward Weintal Prize for Diplomatic Reporting in 2009, and spent 1991–1992 as a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University.


Tuesday, March 20 7:00 p.m.              Cohen Lounge, Dickson Hall

Pervez Hoodbhoy headshot

Pervez Hoodbhoy

 Keynote Speech: Afghanistan-Pakistan After the American Exit

A war weary United States has already begun a gradual withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan with the expectation that it will be complete by 2014. It will leave behind new realities: a resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan and a nuclear Pakistan embroiled in internal conflict. The future for Pakistan and Afghanistan is no clearer than it was when the United States first got involved in 2001. Renowned nuclear scientist Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy (Physics Department, Quaid-e- Azam University, Pakistan) will explore the current state of both culture and science in Muslim countries. An avid supporter of nuclear disarmament in Pakistan, Dr. Hoodbhoy is also the author of Islam and Science: Religious Orthodoxy and the Battle for Rationality which provides a unique perspective on education and global disarmament issues.
Dr. Hoodbhoy has been the recipient of numerous awards including UNESCO’s Kalinga prize in 2003 for popularizing science in Pakistan.
Dr. Fawzia Afzal-Khan (English Department, Montclair State University) will serve as moderator

Tuesday, March 27   3:30 p.m.              Cohen Lounge, Dickson Hall

Samah Selim headshot

Samah Selim

Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet headshot

Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet

Panel: Civil Society and the Women’s Movements in the Middle East

This panel will examine the role that civil society and women’s movements have played in the recent protests and uprisings in several Middle Eastern countries. The panel will feature Dr. Samah Selim (Middle Eastern Languages and Literature, Rutgers University) who will discuss civil society and revolution in Egypt; and Dr. Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet (History Department, University of Pennsylvania) who will consider the role women have played in the protest movement in Iran. Dr. Negin Nabavi (History Department, Montclair State University) will serve as moderator.

Tuesday, March 27  7:00 p.m.         University Hall room 1040

Jihad for Love movie poster

A Jihad for Love


Film Screening and Discussion: A Jihad for Love (2007)

Director Parvez Sharma will screen and discuss his award-winning documentary focusing on gay, lesbian, and trans gender Muslims living in the Muslim and Western world.

Wednesday, March 28 3:00 p.m.          Cohen Lounge, Dickson Hall

Tina Lesher headshot

Tina Lesher

Lecture: The Abaya Chronicle: The Lives of Women in the Middle East Abaya Chronicles book cover
Tina Lesher (Journalism Department, William Paterson University) will discuss the lives of female business and political leaders in the United Arab Emirates. As a Fulbright scholar in U.A.E., Lesher interviewed women about their changing country as it was radically transformed from a desert community to one of the wealthiest nations in the world.