Lecture explores election impact on Muslim world

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Elysabethe Brown, News Editor

On October 30, the department of social sciences will host its second lecture in a series of events focusing on the Middle East.

This lecture will explore the importance of the United States presidential election and the impact it has on the Muslim world.

“It’s not an election for the U.S. only; it’s an election for the world,” said Erkan Acar, project coordinator of Election 2012 The Impact on the Muslim World, Marywood alum, and academic advisor for international students. “It’s not choosing the president of the United States. It’s choosing, not the president of the world, but someone who is very, very important for the world. As he is going to take the role and everybody is watching what is going to happen.” He added that the importance comes from our president’s decision on the relationship that we will have with the Middle East.

Sr. Margaret Gannon, professor of social science, who helped and advised Acar through the planning stages of the lecture stressed the importance of learning about different cultures, such as The Middle East, especially in such a unique opportunity as to learn about it from someone native to that culture.

Acar said that the speaker from this past Islamaphobia lecture revealed that 50% of people in Afghanistan no nothing about 9/11. “People should know some statistics and information about others. That’s why we are trying to organize such lectures including political issues, historical issues, stuff like that,” he said.

Dr. Shamshad Ahmed, associate professor of psychology and counseling, said that the sharing of faiths not only goes along so well with Marywood’s mission and core values, but it is also important because of the media’s tendency to show only one aspect of the Muslim Religion.

“By maintaining the Catholic identity they are telling us who they are. Catholic identity means respect for each other, service to others, and excellence. So this is what they have been preaching, as well as practicing,” Ahmed said.

Sr. Gannon said that this is such a wonderful opportunity for the Marywood community because as Americans we still have to deal with other countries, even if we say we are the number one country. “we have to know the truth about other [countries]. And you can always challenge it and you should. But first you have to learn it before you challenge it,” said Gannon.

Ahmed agreed saying she feels safe and welcomed at Marywood. “[This] tells us that they are opening their arms to people of all races, color, religion, and ethnicity.”

“Election 2012: The Impact on the Muslim World” lecture is being presented by Marywood’s Department of Social Sciences on Tuesday, Oct. 30 in the Latour Conference Room in Nazareth Hall at 5:30 p.m. A reception will follow at 6:30 p.m. where refreshments will be served. For more information contact Erkan Akar at [email protected]