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Trying to Make Sense of Challenges in the Mideast

Buffett Center webcast features Islamic studies scholar Tariq Ramadan

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October 3, 2012 | by Wendy Leopold

EVANSTON, Ill. --- It could hardly have been more timely. A day after news broke that the American Ambassador to Libya had been killed in an attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, the Buffett Center for International and Comparative Studies hosted a panel on “Islam and the Arab Awakening” featuring Tariq Ramadan. Ramadan -- author of a new book of the same name -- is one of Europe’s most prominent Muslim intellectuals and grandson of the Muslim Brotherhood founder.

Visit http://www.bcics.northwestern.edu/publications/webcasts/Ramadan-Tariq.html to view a webcast of the Sept. 12 event in which different perspectives of the challenges of the Arab Spring and of Ramadan’s new book are presented. Buffett Center director and Harris Professor of International Relations Hendrik Spruyt moderates the discussion. 

Appearing with Ramadan -- the Oxford University professor of Islamic studies who Time magazine in 2004 named one of the world’s most influential intellectuals -- are Northwestern political scientists Jonathan Caverley and Rachel Riedl and Northwestern media relations director Storer Rowley, former Middle East correspondent for the Chicago Tribune.

Ramadan’s central question is whether Arab and Muslim societies can dig into their grass roots, their own cultural references and their Islamic heritage -- and help contribute their own unique vision to a new world order not dictated solely by America and the West, but more representative of the Global South, the Islamic-majority nations and the rising powers of Asia.