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December 2, 2015.

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Ambassador Ryszard Schnepf, Ambassador Stephen Mull, Fr. Dennis McManus and Professor Robert Lieber, PhD of Georgetown University discussed their memories of Jan Karski. Following the panel, the audience watched the film documentary, "Karski & the Lords of Humanity."

This event took place on November 5, 2015 in Lohrfink Auditorium on the Georgetown University main campus.
This event was made possible by the Office of the President, the Embassy of the Republic of Poland, the Department of Government and the Program for Jewish Civilization.
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December 2, 2015. Relations between the French state and public visibility of religion, particularly Islam, became openly confrontational in the late 1980s with the infamous “headscarf affair” in public schools, where Muslim students were expelled from school for wearing a hijab (Islamic headscarf). With respect to public displays of religion, the initial response of public authorities was a lenient application of laïcité towards the general public but a rigid one towards civil servants. In the 2000s, there were escalating public struggles between public manifestations of religious affiliation and politicians increasingly fighting for a restrictive application of laïcité that regards religious displays as a violation of public order. This increasing politicization of laïcité, where religious freedom was seen as an assault on cultural and republican values, has resulted in a toughening of the legislative speech on religious signs, particularly against Muslims who were seen as more openly violating French cultural norms. While restrictions of expression of religious affiliation of students began in public schools, we are now observing an extension of this control to people in public spaces. This expansion of repressive policies will end badly not only for Muslim minorities in Europe, but also the overall legitimacy and integrity of modern European liberal values.

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October 30, 2015. In Pakistan, myriad constituencies are grappling with reinterpreting women's rights. This book analyzes the Government of Pakistan's construction of an understanding of what constitutes women's rights, moves on to address traditional views and contemporary popular opinion on women's rights, and then focuses on three very different groups' perceptions of women's rights: progressive women's organizations as represented by the Aurat Foundation and Shirkat Gah; orthodox Islamist views as represented by the Jama'at-i-Islami, the MMA government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (2002-08) and al-Huda; and the Swat Taliban. Author Anita M. Weiss analyzes the resultant "culture wars" that are visibly ripping the country apart, as groups talk past one another - each confidant that they are the proprietors of culture and interpreters of religion while others are misrepresenting it.

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Benny Morris is known as one of Israel’s “New Historians” and is one of the world’s leading experts on the origins and development of the Arab-Israeli conflict. During the 2015-2016 academic year he is the Aaron and Cecile Goldman Visiting Israeli Professor in the Department of Government.

The lecture was held on October 27, 2015 on the Georgetown University campus. 

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October 14, 2015. In his presentation, Dr. Kaya began with a short introduction to the life of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi (1876-1960) and the historical context in which he lived and wrote his magnum opus the Risale-i Nur, a thematic commentary on the Qur’an. This was followed by presenting Nursi’s perspective on living in a secular environment as an observant Muslim, his understanding of jihad, political Islam, and Christian-Muslim relations. Finally, Dr. Kaya focused on the legacy of Nursi in Turkey and around the globe. 

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October 1, 2015. Austria was the first Western European country to legally recognize Islam in 1912 and was for a long time known for its tolerant policies towards the Muslim community. After 9/11, the far right has discovered the topic of Islamophobia and used it strategically in election campaigns. When the 1912 Islam-law was renewed in 2015, the dominant Islamophobic discourse had made its imprint on public debates about the 2015 Islam-law. In this talk, Farid Hafez gave an overview over the most contested issues throughout the debate, the various stances of the parties in power and in opposition as well as the many possible implications of the law for the future of the Austrian Muslim community. 

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September 25, 2015—Panel event: "Christians in the Holy Land" with Jonthan Kuttab & Naim Ateek. In the endless stream of coverage on the Israel/Palestine conflict, Palestinian Christians receive scant attention. This is surprising in light of the overall concern for Christians in the Middle East in American society and politics. This panel featured prominent Palestinian Christian leaders who discussed the condition of those descendants of the original followers of Christ who remain in the holy land.

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Bruce Hoffman, Professor and Director of the Center for Security Studies, presented on his latest book Anonymous Soldiers: The Struggle for Israel, 1917-1947 (Knopf, 2015). The lecture was held October 8, 2015 in McShain Lounge, McCarthy Hall at Georgetown University. 

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Ambassador Dennis Ross, Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy, presented on his new book Doomed to Succeed: The U.S.-Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama (Farrar, Staus, and Giroux, October 2015). Former Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and James A. Baker, III describe Ambassador Ross's new book as a "must read".

This lecture took place on October 5, 2015 in Gaston Hall on the Georgetown University main campus. 
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