Public Program: "Islam and the West: Dialogue or Clash of Civilizations?" with Ambassador Akbar Ahmed

Please join us for Ambassador Akbar Ahmed’s talk, "Islam and the West: Dialogue or Clash of Civilizations?" Filene Auditorium, Moore Hall at 5:15 pm on April 27.

Students, register here for a dinner with Ambassador Ahmed from 6:45 to 7:45 pm in Morrisson Commons, Rockefeller Center.

The relationship between the West and Islam has been one of constant tension post-9/11, as highlighted by reactions to the recent extremist attacks on Charlie Hebdo in Paris as well as recurring acts of terrorism by ISIS. In the resulting dialogue, Samuel Huntington’s thesis of a "clash of civilizations," which argues that there is an inherent clash between Western and Islamic values, has gained new fervor.

Ambassador Akbar Ahmed, a prominent scholar and researcher on US-Islamic relations, will discuss Huntington’s "clash of civilizations" thesis as well as perceptions of Islam after 9/11. In addition to presenting his own studies that examine relationships between the West and Islam, Ambassador Ahmed will also emphasize that what is really needed is a "dialogue of civilizations," something which would help both groups move beyond the misunderstanding of different religions and cultures that is so prevalent today.

Ambassador Akbar Ahmed is the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies in the School of International Service at American University in Washington, DC and the former Pakistan High Commissioner to the UK and Ireland. Previously, Ahmed was the Iqbal Fellow (Chair of Pakistan Studies) and Fellow of Selwyn College at the University of Cambridge. He is also the author of over a dozen award-winning books that examine the relations between the West and the World of Islam after 9/11, including "Journey into America: The Challenge of Islam" and "The Thistle and the Drone: How America’s War on Terror Became a Global War on Tribal Islam."