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Video of Muslim Community Center Teach-In on 9/21/2010

Media Feature

October 6, 2010

Author: Noelle Janka, Former Program Coordinator, Middle East Initiative

Belfer Center Programs or Projects: Middle East Initiative


A group of over 100 gathered at a cross-campus sponsored teach-in on the Muslim community center in Manhattan issue on Tuesday 21 September. Professors Diana Eck, Professor of Comparative Religion and Indian Studies, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Member of the Faculty of Divinity; Director of the Pluralism Project and Master of Lowell House; Ali Asani, Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures, Faculty of Arts and Sciences; Chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and Associate Director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program; and, Mark Tushnet, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law, Harvard Law School provided analysis and some points of discussion, which were followed by a robust discussion with students, faculty, staff and the general public in attendance. Diana Eck contributed the point that the discrimination against Muslims in the US is not new, and follows an unfortunate pattern of similar discrimination with other minority groups. Ali Asani touched on the religious illiteracy and ignorance about Muslims, as well as the energy given to the loudest and crudest voices due to the mid-term elections in November. Finally, Mark Tushnet contributed a legal understanding of the First Amendament issues at stake and the various ways that the building of the community center could be interpereted.

This is the first of two teach-ins that the Outreach Center at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, the Middle East Initiative and other groups on campus will be a part of sponsoring during the year to foster discussion on Middle East and Islam related topics. These will bring together noted faculty in a panel format, with discussion from attendees.


For more information about this publication please contact the Middle East Initiative at (617) 495-4087.

For Academic Citation:

Janka, Noelle. "Video of Muslim Community Center Teach-In on 9/21/2010.", October 6, 2010.

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We host a busy schedule of events throughout the fall, winter and spring. Past guests include: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former Vice President Al Gore, and former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev.