Lincoln Forum Hopes to Dispel ‘Islamaphobia’

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY, PA – Lincoln University hosts the forum, “Islam and Islamaphobia,” on Monday, March 25, 2013 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in Grim Hall Auditorium.

The forum, which is free and open-to-the-public, features Rugiatu Conteh, the Outreach and Communications Director of Council on American Islamic Relations, who hopes to educate students about Muslims and Islam as well as analyze how the media can be used to promote either appreciation or fear of Muslims.

“We hope that this forum will help people move towards greater understanding and cooperation,” said Dr. Mel Leaman, a religion professor at the university and one of the forum organizers.  “Our fears of Islam (‘Islamaphobia’) or any other religion, for that matter, keeps us from building bridges of communication and working together for peace and justice.”

The forum, which is sponsored by the Langston Hughes Building Bridges Program and Seiple Foundation, is the second such event this month about Muslims and Islam.

Last week, the Langston Hughes Memorial Library presented the film, The Prince Among Slaves, which was aimed at familiarizing the public with the people, places, history, faith and culture of Muslims in the United States.

That film was one of the resources in the Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journey, a collection of materials from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the American Library Association (ALA).  Langston Hughes Memorial library is among 840 other libraries and state humanities councils across the country awarded the collection.

Other support for the Bookshelf, which consists of 25 books, 3 films and a one-year subscription to Oxford Islamic Studies Online, was provided from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.

Lincoln University of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, founded in 1854 as the nation’s first degree-granting Historically Black College and University (HBCU), combines the elements of a liberal arts and science-based undergraduate curriculum along with select graduate programs to meet the needs of those living in a highly-technological and global society.  Today, the University enrolls a diverse student body of approximately 2,000 men and women.  Internationally recognized for preparing and producing world class leaders such as Thurgood Marshall, the first African American U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Lillian Fishburne, the first African American woman promoted to Rear Admiral in the U.S. Navy, Langston Hughes, the noted poet, Kwame Nkrumah, the first President of Ghana and Nnamdi Azikiwe, the first President of Nigeria. 

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