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Speakers at the U of M Will Offer New Perspective on Islam and the Middle East
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Reza Aslan and Gideon Yago will bring a fresh perspective to the discussion of Islam and the Middle East on November 6 when they speak at 8 p.m. in the Rose Theatre at the University of Memphis.  The event is free an open to the public.

Aslan is the author of No god but God: the Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam.  Yago has spent many years as the on-air news correspondent for MTV.

In 1979, seven-year-old Aslan fled Iran with his family amidst the chaos of a revolution. Today he is one of the nation’s most respected experts on Islam and the Middle East, a scholar and media consultant on issues of religion and politics.  He is a Middle East commentator for public radio’s Marketplace and a Muslim affairs analyst for CBS News, as well as a contributing writer for the Los Angeles Times.

Described by the New York Times as a “grippingly narrated and thoughtfully examined... literate, accessible introduction to Islam,” No god but God has established Aslan as a dynamic voice of liberal Islam in the U.S.  Aslan argues that the current conflicts in the Middle East are not the result of a clash between Islamic and Western civilizations, but the consequence of an “Islamic Reformation” occurring within the Muslim world, an internal struggle to define the future of this misunderstood faith and to harmonize its values and traditions with contemporary ideals of democracy and human rights.

Yago was at the forefront of MTV’s live coverage moments after war in Iraq broke out. As part of that coverage, he traveled to Kuwait City to film Diary of Gideon in Kuwait. He returned to the Middle East in the fall of 2003 to report on how life has changed for young Iraqis and American soldiers stationed there in a new documentary, Diary of Gideon in Baghdad.

Yago also covered the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and he has hosted specials on drug addiction, bias crime, sex laws, gun violence, and other political topics. He has interviewed such newsmakers as George W. Bush, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell, former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Ambassador L. Paul Bremer III, U.S. Sen. John Kerry, and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice.

The two men’s appearance at the U of M is sponsored by the Student Activities Council.  For more information, call 901-678-2035.

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Last updated: 03/20/2008 16:01:31
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