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LEWISBURG, Pa. — In observance of fifth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, Bucknell University will host an academic convocation Monday, Sept. 11, at 7 p.m. in Rooke Chapel.

Bucknell President Brian C. Mitchell will lead the convocation and speak on the anniversary. Guest speaker Professor Akbar Ahmed will give the talk, "Islam Under Siege: From Clash of Civilizations to Dialogue of Civilizations." The talk, which is open to the public without charge, will include words from Bucknell President Brian C. Mitchell.

Ahmed is a distinguished academic, anthropologist, writer, and filmmaker from American University in Washington, D.C. He is a leading scholar of contemporary Islam and has worked to promote interfaith dialogues among Muslims, Jews, and Christians. Ahmed also is a partner in an ongoing public dialogue with Judea Pearl, father of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter assassinated in Pakistan.

"Looking back at the events of September 11, 2001, Professor Ahmed is in a unique position to help us understand the relationship between Islam and the West five years later, and what the future might look like," said Chaplain Ian Oliver of the Bucknell Office of the Chaplains and Religious Life.

Considered one of the world’s leading authorities on contemporary Islam, Ahmed is former High Commissioner of Pakistan to Great Britain. He has advised Prince Charles and met with President George W. Bush on Islam. His numerous books, films and documentaries have won prestigious awards and his books have been translated into several languages including Chinese and Indonesian. He is regularly interviewed on CNN, CBC, the BBC, ARY TV and has appeared several times on the Oprah Winfrey Show and Night Line.

A Senior Fellow at The Case Foundation in Washington, D.C., he gave the inaugural lecture for the first Chair in Jewish-Muslim Studies at the University of Illinois-Chicago. Ahmed is the Principal Investigator for the "Islam in the Age of Globalization" project, sponsored by the Brookings Institution, American University and the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. A Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution, he was nominated as the "Most Inspiring Person of the Year 2005" and a finalist in the poll conducted by BeliefNet.

Ahmed’s talk is sponsored by the Arnaud Marts Religion-in-Life Lecture Fund, the Office of the President, the Office of the Provost, the Office of the Chaplains and Religious Life, International Student Services, the departments of sociology and anthropology, art and art history, and international relations, and the Global and Social Justice residential Colleges.

His talk will be followed by a candlelight vigil at 9 p.m. on the Academic Quad, organized by the Bucknell Student Government, College Democrats, Conservatives Club and Inter-religious Council.

Posted Sept. 5, 2006

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