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Reza Aslan, one of the nation's most respected experts on Islam and the Middle East, will speak Thursday, March 29, for the Old Dominion University President's Lecture Series. His talk, "The Future of Islam: Toward the Islamic Reformation," will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Mills Godwin Jr. Building auditorium. It is free and open to the public.

Aslan is a research associate at the University of Southern California's Center on Public Diplomacy. He serves as a Middle East commentator for National Public Radio's "Marketplace" and Muslim affairs analyst for CBS News.

The author of the internationally acclaimed "No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam," Aslan received critical acclaim from The New York Times, which described the work as a "grippingly narrated and thoughtfully examined ... literate, accessible introduction to Islam."

Aslan has written for the Los Angeles Times, New York Times , Slate, Boston Globe, Washington Post and The Nation, and has appeared on "Meet the Press," "Hardball," "The Daily Show," "Real Time with Bill Maher" and "Nightline."

Aslan's career began in 1998 when was elected president of Harvard's chapter of the World Conference on Religion and Peace (WCRP), a United Nations organization committed to the cause of global understanding. After consecutive nuclear tests by India and Pakistan, the WCRP, under Aslan's leadership, brought the ambassadors of the two countries to Harvard in order to discuss for the first time their shared nuclear future.

Aslan's work with the WCRP led to a position as legislative assistant for the Friends Committee on National Legislation in Washington, D.C., where he served as a liaison to Congress on issues of arms control and the Middle East.

He holds a bachelor's degree in religion from Santa Clara University, a master's in theological studies from Harvard and a master of fine arts degree in fiction from the University of Iowa. He is currently a doctoral candidate in history of religions at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

ODU's final President's Lecture Series talk for the spring semester will feature Brian Greene, physicist and professor at Columbia University, on April 12. He will speak on "Fabric of the Cosmos: Time and the Texture of Reality" in the Godwin auditorium.

For more information call 683-3114.

This article was posted on: February 19, 2007

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