UVU To Host Second Annual Conference On Islam
February 22, 2013
For Immediate Release
University Marketing & Communications: Mike Rigert (801) 863-6807
Written by: Mike Rigert (801) 863-6807
Utah Valley University’s Center for Global & International Engagement will present the second annual Conference on Islam Feb. 28 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Centre Stage in the Sorensen Student Center. The event is free and open to the public.
The theme of this year’s conference is “The Price for Peace,” and will include a morning session, Islam Against Terrorism, from 9:30 a.m. to noon, about non-violent resistance in the Middle East, and an afternoon session, A Path to Peace, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. focused on the Quran and its teachings.
The conference was founded last year by UVU senior public relations major Claudine Kuradusenge from Rwanda, who, though not Muslim herself, believed that students and the university community would benefit from an academic conference concentrated on creating greater awareness and education about Islam, including the religion and cultures of its adherents. Approximately 23 percent of the global population — or roughly 1.57 billion people — are members of Muslim denominations.
“The conference is a wonderful opportunity to gain a greater understanding about a religion and its associated culture that is largely an enigma, even among Utah’s typically well-traveled residents,” Kuradusenge said. “It has really been a learning experience for me to organize the event with the tremendous support of UVU faculty, staff and students.”
Guest speakers and panelists for the morning session include Michael Minch, UVU associate professor of philosophy and humanities and director of the Peace & Justice Studies program; John Macfarlane, a UVU adjunct instructor of political science and an academic adviser for the History & Political Science Department; and Geoffrey Cockerham, a UVU assistant professor of history, political science and international relations.
Guest speakers and panelists for the afternoon session, include Anwar Arafat, an American Muslim who serves as an imam (religious leader) and counsels youth at a Salt Lake City mosque; Imam Shuaib, an American Muslim and imam of the Utah Islamic Center in Sandy, Utah; and Tariq Kergaye, a native of Iraq who completed undergraduate and graduate studies in Utah and is a retired former employee of the Utah Department of Transportation.
“The conference will address very important questions,” Minch said. “Can peace be built with those who have turned to violence? How does Islam combat violence? How does nonviolence defeat violence? Are there democratic impulses and movements in the Middle East that promise future peace? Questions like these stimulate necessary conversation, and the answers that will be suggested may help conference participants engage their Muslim neighbors, and the world, with greater hope, and constructive faith.”
UVU’s International Student Services and International Student Council also are hosts of the second annual Conference on Islam.
Utah Valley University is located in Orem, Utah, and is home to more than 30,000 students. UVU began as a vocational school during World War II, and in the seven decades since has evolved into a technical school, community school, state college and, finally, a comprehensive regional teaching university. UVU is one of Utah’s largest institutions of higher learning and offers programs ranging from career training to high-demand master degrees, with emphasis on undergraduate education.