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Terrorism from a Muslim Perspective

Guest Speaker: Prof. Inam Haq, Niebuhr Center for Faith and Action, Dept. of Religious Studies, Elmhurst College

The word jihad has entered into common usage in the United States in the wake of the September 11 attacks.  Politicians use it to conjure up terrifying images of irrational foreigners coming to destroy American freedoms; religious figures use it to define Islam.  Jihad has even entered our everyday vocabulary, associated with unrestrained, unreasoning, total warfare.  But what does it really mean?  Mr. Haq will discuss the origin of jihad in Islam, its historical development and its more recentconversion into random, senseless violence.  What political and ideological developments led to this menace and how should we best respond?

In addition to his duties at Niebuhr Center and Elmhurst College, Prof. Haq is adjunct professor at the Catholic Theological Union (CTU) in Hyde Park Chicago.  Previously Mr. Haq was principal of the Islamic Foundation School in Villa Park for 11 years.  Mr. Haq is also a founding member of the International Strategy and Policy Institute, an Oakbrook based think tank.  He served on the Chicago Committee of Human Rights Watch and currently serves on the Board of Cardinal Bernadine Center of CTU.  Mr. Haq is an honorary Imam in various local mosques in the Chicago area.  He studied at International Islamic University in Islamabad, Pakistan, and at Drew University in New Jersey.  He has been frequently interviewed by local media, including The Chicago Tribune and PBS, on issues concerning Islam and Muslims.