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'Islam & America: What Media Won’t Discuss'

Monday, October 16, 2017 - 9:30am

Terrorists and anti-Islam extremists are both wrong about Islam, says best-selling author Qasim Rashid. He’ll argue his case when he visits Mercyhurst University Monday, Oct. 23, to speak on “Islam & America: What Media Won’t Discuss.”

In a column for Time magazine in 2016, Rashid wrote, “There is a great deal of ignorance about Islam and what Muslims believe. The word ‘jihad’ means struggle, and the Prophet Muhammad said that the greatest jihad is the struggle against self to become better human beings through peace. Our goal as American Muslims should be to wage true jihad of education, compassion and service to humanity.”

His talk, presented by the Charlene M. Tanner Speaker Series, begins at 7 p.m. in Mercyhurst’s Walker Recital Hall and is free and open to the public. Before the evening lecture, Rashid will also meet with groups of employees and students, an initiative organized by President Michael T. Victor’s Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion at Mercyhurst.

Qasim Rashid is a best-selling and critically acclaimed author, a practicing attorney, a visiting fellow at Harvard University's Prince AlWaleed bin Talal School of Islamic Studies, and a national spokesperson for Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA.

His most recent book, Talk to Me: Changing the Narrative on Race, Religion & Education, is a nonfiction memoir on how the power of dialogue can overcome racism, xenophobia, misogyny and violence.

In Extremist: A Response to Geert Wilders & Terrorists Everywhere, published in 2014, Rashid set out to debunk extremists, and to clarify important issues like Islam's view on free speech, women’s rights, Jihad, and more.

Rashid regularly publishes in Time, The Huffington Post, Washington Post, Daily Caller and CNN and his work has appeared in many other national and international outlets. He regularly speaks at universities and houses of worship, and interviews in a variety of media including the New York Times, FOX News, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Muslim Television Ahmadiyya International, Huff Post Live, Al Jazeera, NBC, CBS and Voice of America.

Rashid is the former chairman of the Muslim Writers Guild of America, served as a volunteer chaplain for the Virginia State prison system, and offered pro bono legal assistance to victims of domestic and sexual violence through the Virginia Poverty Law Center.

He, his wife, Ayesha, and their three children reside in Virginia.

This event is being gifted in memory of Charlene M. Tanner by her loving partner, Doris Cipolla. Because of their shared interests in social justice, peace and the environment, it is hoped that this program will inspire others to create a healing environment for the world.