2007-2008 Activities

June 22-28, 2008 Institute on Christian-Muslim Relations or Pastoral Workers, Imams, and Muslim Community Leaders: Since 2005, the two leading centers for the study of Christian-Muslim relations at Christian institutions of higher education have offered a week-long intensive institute on the campus of Georgetown University in Washington, DC . The Duncan Black Macdonald Center , established at Hartford Seminary, Georgetown University and the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, combined their expertise and success in Christian-Muslim relations in this Institute designed primarily for religious professionals. For the 2008 Institute, which met June 22-28, seven Muslims joined 23 Christians successfully completing an innovative two-track program.


Thursday, 8 May 2008: Gift Celebration of the Prince Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding: Georgetown celebrated the official inauguration of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding with a visit to the center by HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, chairman of Kingdom Foundation. The Prince, who was accompanied by a delegation from Kingdom Foundation, toured the center and met with scholars and university leaders on their visit. Following a reception at the President’s Office, His Royal Highness Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, Center Founding Director Dr. John Esposito and Georgetown President Jack DeGioia gave speeches about the importance of the gift, and its impact on furthering Muslim-Christian Understanding.


Wednesday, April 30 2008- "Muslim Giving in America: Tradition, Law and Politics": Organized by ACMCU’s American Muslim Studies Program, this one-day conference brought together academics, professionals and policy makers in an open dialogue on the issues facing the Muslim community. The future of faith-based giving and interfaith social service projects was also be explored in the conference.


Tuesday, 18 April 2008 - Lecture: “Democratization in Turkey and the Stumbling Blocks in the Prospects.” On April 15th, Professor Merve Kavakci spoke before the Georgetown community, concerning crucial issues such as today and specifically the position of women in Turkish politics. Dr. Kavakci was elected as a Virtue Party deputy for Istanbul in 1999. In May of that year, she was prevented from making her parliamentary oath because of her hijaab. Today, Dr. Kavakci is a visiting professor at George Washington University 's Institute for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies. Co-sponsored by ACMCU, the Muslim Students Association, The Lecture Fund and the International Relations Club.


Monday, 14 April 2008 – Lecture “ Palestine : 60 Years of Displacement.” World- renowned speaker and outgoing Palestinian ambassador to the United States Afif Safieh addressed Georgetown University regarding the current political situation in Palestine and the occupied territories. Ambassador Safieh also discussed the displacement of the Palestinian people since the creation of the state of in 1948, why Palestinians left or stayed, and where those who left are now located. Co-sponsored by ACMCU, Muslim Students Association, Lecture Fund, Students for Justice in Palestine , and Center for Contemporary Arab Studies.


Saturday 12 April – Saturday 19 April 2008- Visiting Delegation from Southeast Asia : Faith and Community: A Dialogue. A project funded by the State Department, and organized by the Indiana Center for Cultural Exchange, the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding and the Office of the President at Georgetown University . The theme of this project was: “How religious communities can cooperate with one another in order to contribute to positive and constructive civil discourse in ways that respect diversity and further the public good.” In addition to organizing and participating in a series of week-long events, the ACMCU hosted two panels on Islam in , both of which also treated the theme of civil discourse. Participants in these panels included Dr. Zahid Bukhari, Dr. Sulayman Nyang, Dr. Yvonne Haddad, Dr. John Voll, as well as representatives of the Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Minaret of Freedom, and the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT).


Tuesday, 8 April 2008 – Lecture and Discussion: “Confluences of Islamic Art in the Medieval West.” Panel discussion featuring Dr. Stefano Carboni, Curator and Administrator for the Department of Islamic Art at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, Dr. Rosamond Mack, responsible for the content on that National Gallery of Art's permanent website on Artistic Exchange, Europe and the Islamic World, and Dr. Julian Raby, director of the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. Co-sponsored by The Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Georgetown College Office of the Dean, the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs, the Georgetown Department of Theology, and the Georgetown Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies


Thursday, 3 April 2008 – Presentation and Book Signing: “The Much Too Promised Land.” Aaron David Miller discussed his recent book, The Much Too Promised Land. This book is based on his experience of over two decades serving at the Department of State as an advisor to six secretaries of state, where he helped formulate policy on the Middle East and the Arab-Israel peace process, most recently as the Senior Advisor for Arab-Israeli Negotiations. This book explores questions such as: Why has the world’s greatest superpower failed to broker, or impose, a solution in the Middle East ? If a solution is possible, what would it take? And why after so many years of struggle and failure, with the entire region even more unsettled than ever, should Americans even care? Is Israel/Palestine really the “much too promised land”? Co-sponsored by ACMCU and the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies.


Wednesday, 2 April 2008 – Book Launch: Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think, by John L. Esposito and Dalia Mogahed. At an event hosted by the President’s Office at Georgetown University , VIP guests and members of the Georgetown University community gathered to inaugurate the launch of Dr. John Esposito and Dalia Mogahed’s latest book. The authors gave a presentation and discussed their work, followed by a reception and book signing. The book is based on six years of research and more than 50,000 interviews representing 1.3 billion Muslims who reside in more than 35 nations that are predominantly Muslim or have sizable Muslim populations. Representing more than 90% of the world’s Muslim community, it makes this poll the largest, most comprehensive study of its kind.


Thursday, 20 March 2008 – Workshop: "American Mosques in the 21st Century: Identity, Education, and Empowerment. A Consultation with Leadership." As part of ACMCU’s American Muslim Studies Program, this event brought together more than 25 community leaders and Imams, who participated in a daylong workshop on the role of American Mosques in the 21st century.


March 13-14 2008 - "The Future of Christian-Muslim Relations: Where Do We Go from Here?"


Thursday, 13 March 2008 – Lecture: “Christianity, Islam and Political Cultures.” Co-sponsored by ACMCU, African Studies and The Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs


Tuesday, 26 February 2008 – Lecture: "Transnational Families: Migration, Gender, and Generational Relations." A luncheon lecture given by Visiting Professor Dr. Lydia Potts, professor of Political Science, Gender Studies and Migration Studies at the Carl von Ossietzky University in Oldenburg, Germany. Co-sponsored by ACMCU, the BMW Center for German and European Studies and the German department.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008 –Briefing: "Afghanistan: Past Achievements and Continuing Challenges" Ambassador Neumann assessed the successes so far achieved in rebuilding and stabilizing Afghanistan, the still daunting challenges that are facing both the government of President Hamed Karzai and the US and its allies, and addressed the question of how best deal with these challenges in order to ensure success. Drawing on his vast experience throughout the Middle East, the Gulf region, and South Asia, Ambassador Neumann also addressed the regional ramifications of development in . Ambassador Neumann, currently the President of the American Academy of Diplomacy, was US Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan from July 2005 to April 2007.


Tuesday, 12 February 2008 – Lecture: “Ethnic Gods and Mediterranean Monotheism.” Paula Fredriksen, Aurelio Professor of Scripture at Boston University , spoke about the development of monotheism in the ancient world, and the way in which she perceives that the concept grew out of more regional "ethnic" gods. Co-sponsored by ACMCU, the Program for Jewish Civilization and the Provost Office.


Monday, 11 February 2008 – Lecture: "The Church in the Shadow of the Mosque: Christians and Muslims in the World of Islam" Professor Sidney Griffith talked about his book, which deals with Christian authors within a medieval Muslim context. He presented an overview of Christians’ initial reactions to the religious challenges they faced, the development of a new mode of presenting Christian doctrine as liturgical texts in their own languages gave way to Arabic, the Christian role in the philosophical life of early Baghdad , and the maturing of distinctive Oriental Christian denominations in this context.


Wednesday, 30 January 2008 - “Recent Developments in Pakistan: Internal, Regional and International Ramifications”


Tuesday, 29 January 2008 –Lecture: “Muslim-Christian Relations in Egypt: Historical Background and Contemporary Developments.” Grégoire Delhaye spoke about the Copts in and in the diaspora, and their engagement in American politics.


Thursday, 1 November 2007 - Workshop: “New Muslim Generations in Europe .” This symposium brought together four speakers to speak about a variety of challenges facing Muslims in Europe today. Professor Peter Mandaville spoke on “Muslim Youth and Religious Authority in Europe”, Professor Abdulkader Sinno spoke about “Muslim American Representation in Comparative Context”, Katrin Sieg spoke about “Gender, Sexuality, and the Question of Belonging in Turkish-German Literature and Cinema”, and Professor Sam Cherribi spoke about “Muslim Youth in Europe: Mores and Values”.


Wednesday, 31 October 2007 - Lecture: “ Jerusalem Women Speak: Three Faiths, One Shared Vision.” Three women -Christian, Jew, and Muslim -whose families have suffered the realities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict discussed current realities and their hope of a better future for all. They spoke about ongoing efforts to cooperate peacefully to solve problems built on sixty years of conflict and military occupation. The event was co-sponsored by ACMCU and Partners for Peace.


Thursday, 25 October 2007 - Exhibition: Peter Sanders: The Art of Integration: Islam in Britain's Green and Pleasant Lands


Wednesday, 24 October 2007 - Lecture: “Lost History: A Conversation with Journalist and Author Michael Morgan.” The author spoke about his book, which focuses on the forgotten contributions of the Muslim World to modern knowledge, detailing how Muslim advancements laid the cornerstones of the European Renaissance, the Enlightenment, and modern society.


Monday, 22 October 2007 - Film Screening: Cities of Light: The Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain


Tuesday, 16 October 2007 - Symposium: “The State of West-Islamic Dialogue”. The symposium brought together international thought leaders and public figures to address West-Islamic dialogue in its religious, political, and social dimensions. The symposium was convened in the context of the World Economic Forum's planned First Annual Report on the State of West Islamic Dialogue . The report, a collaborative effort with Georgetown University , is slated for presentation at the Forum's Annual Meeting in Davos, in January 2008. The symposium was sponsored jointly by Georgetown's Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding


Tuesday, 2 October 2007 - Film Screening: “Aliens in : Considering Post-9/11 Tensions Through Television Comedy.” Following the viewing was a panel discussion with the show’s creators, Moses Port and Daivd Guarascio, Assistant Dean Bernie Cook, Dr. Debby Jaramillo, Dr. Laurie King-Irani, and Ambassador Cynthia Schneider. Discussants focused on American attitudes about Muslims and Islam in a post-9/11 world. Co-sponsored by ACMCU, The Georgetown College Film and Media Studies Initiative, the Arts and Culture Initiative at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy (Brookings Institution), The Berkeley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs, and the Georgetown Entertainment Media Alliance.


Friday, 21 September 2007 - Keynote Address: OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu


Thursday, 20 September 2007 - Workshop: Islamophobia and the Challenge of Pluralism


Monday, 18 September: Dinner - Iftar with the Georgetown University Muslim Student’s Association. This event was co-sponsored by ACMCU and the Georgetown MSA, and brought together the Georgetown Community to celebrate Iftar together, with remarks made by Dr. John Esposito, Founding Director of ACMCU and University Professor at Georgetown University .


Wednesday, 12 September 2007 - Lecture: “The Vatican and Islam”. An informative luncheon to welcome Dan Madigan, then International Visiting Fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown, and now an Associate Professor in the Theology Department, to Georgetown University. Professor Madigan spoke about Vatican Foreign Policy and Islam.


Friday, 11 September 2007 - Symposium: “Islam, Constitutions and Durable Democracy: The Cases of and .” This event focused on the fragile democratic experiments in these two countries. In , sectarian conflict abetted by foreign terrorists is putting enormous pressure on a weak governing coalition. In , a resurgent Taliban is challenging the writ of Kabul 's democratic government. The event looked to address what roles the two countries' respective constitutions, written by nationals but brokered by the , are playing in preserving and strengthening democracy. The event was moderated by Professor Thomas Farr and speakers included Robert P George, William L. Saunders, Jr., Professor Muqtedar Khan, and Intisar Rabb. This event was co-sponsored by ACMCU, the Berkley Center for Religion and Peace, and World Affairs and by the Luce/SFS Program on Religion and international Affairs.