Islamic scholar to speak at MSU

Christian-Muslim relations to be examined at MSU

From Staff reports

STARKVILLE – An internationally recognized Islamic scholar and proponent of religious tolerance will be featured Jan. 28 in a public program at Mississippi State University.

Farid Esack will speak in the Wise Center auditorium. To begin at 7 p.m., his address will focus on the need for a greater dialogue between the world’s two billion Christians and billion-plus Muslims.

MSU’s department of philosophy and religion, University Honors Program, College of Arts and Sciences, International Services Office, Women’s Studies Program, Richard Holmes Cultural Diversity Center, and departments of political science and history are sponsoring Esack’s visit.

A South African native, Esack holds a doctoral degree from the University of Birmingham, England.

In 1997, South African president Nelson Mandela appointed him as the country’s commissioner for gender equality. He formerly was a senior lecturer in religious studies at the University of the Western Cape, where he directed a special project on religion, culture and identity.

In addition to serving as a guest lecturer around the world, he is the author of several published and forthcoming books. Among them are “Qur’an, Liberation and Pluralism,” a major work on Islamic liberation theology; “On Being Muslim: Finding a Religious Path in the World Today”; and “An Introduction to the Qur’an.” All are distributed by Oxford: Oneworld.

He writes a political column for the weekly Cape Times, a socio-religious column for the Muslim monthly Al Qalam and is featured regularly in several other South African publications.

For additional information on the program, telephone Paul Jacobs at (662) 325-2382.