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Archive for May 2014

April 29, 2014. Co-sponsored with Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, & World Affairs. Christian-Muslim (and Jewish) relations have existed for as long as Islam has been on the scene of history. There have been periods of fruitful cooperation and dialogue, as well as times of serious conflict and struggle. There is much to learn from the past as we address contemporary issues and also as we try and identify what the future holds for us. Will those who want division and mutual isolation triumph over those who wish informed conversation and friendship, whilst maintaining the distinctives of each faith? The lecture covered these and other topics.

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April 23, 2014. Religion, politics, and policy are inextricably linked in Pakistan, and together tied to Pakistan's relationship with the United States. Pakistan embarked on its first democratic transition of power last year. The success of this experiment will hinge on how well Islamic parties-who are showing their strength within the political landscape-can contribute to civilian rule, shun violence, and mobilize support for political reform. However, these parties are diverse in their policy goals and political intentions and cannot be painted with a broad brush, as often occurs in the United States. Dr. Haroon Ullah provided a look at the rise of political Islam in Pakistan and in the Arab Spring and how understanding these internal dynamics can help shape better bilateral relations.

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Dr. Wendy Lower is the John K. Roth Professor of History at Claremont McKenna College.

Dr. Lower's presentation was based on her new book, Hitler's Furies, a finalist for the National Book Award. Drawing from wartime documents, postwar trials, private letters, diaries and interviews, she discussed outstanding cases of women who became direct witnesses, accomplices, and perpetrators of the Holocaust. In the colonial outposts of the Nazi East, ordinary German women were an integral part of the ruling elite, and possessed extreme power over the lives of Jews and other victims of the Holocaust. Lower examines what some of these women chose to do with this new-found power during the war and how they distorted their criminal behavior after the war.

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