I will be speaking at the Parliament of World Religions, in Melbourne, Australia. I have one primary panel, listed below, and several other panels.
Sun., Dec. 6, 16:30-18:00
An Islamic Conscience: The Aga Khan and the Ismailis (respondent)
Film and Discussion
The Aga Khan has been the spiritual leader of 15 mil- lion Ismaili Muslims for the past five decades. Born into wealth and privilege, he has devoted his life to eliminating poverty and inequality. At a time when Islam is at odds within itself and with the West, this film presents the Aga Khan as a voice of moderation, speaking out for plural- ism, and promoting dialogue between civilisations. The film was directed by Jane Chablani, Bill Cran, and Shamir Allibhai.
Mon., Dec. 7, 9:30-11:00
The Role of Media in Conflict Resolution (was added late and not listed on program)
The international media, with its global reach and pow- erful influence, can fan flames of conflict and misun- derstanding, or it can help to quench them and bring illumination. This panel will discuss possible strategies for utilising broadcast, print and Internet media outlets to promote and facilitate interfaith and intergroup under- standing and dialogue; participants will include journal- ists, educators, producers and activists.
Mon., Dec. 7, 2009, 11:30-13:00
Blogistan: Muslims Dialogue through New Media (Primary Panel)
In the last several years, Muslim Americans have become increasingly active online. More and more, they are har- nessing the full potential of New Media to combat stereo- types, racism and ignorance. They have built followings among Muslims and non-Muslims, and their efforts serve as resources for education about Islam and Muslims. This panel will discuss a variety of Muslim-American pres- ences on the Internet (individual blogs, group blogs, and online magazines) and the use of Web 2.0 applications such as Facebook and Twitter to impact conversations not only within the Muslim community but also about the Muslim community. These traditions allow Muslims to represent themselves but also to continue the age-old Muslim traditions of arguing and discussing the major issues of the day.
Tue. Dec. 8, 2009, 14:30-16:00
In this session, participants will hear from speakers in- volved with the making of three internationally acclaimed films that promote dialogue between Muslims and non- Muslims. In ‘New Muslim Cool’, Puerto Rican-American rapper Hamza Perez takes viewers on a ride through the streets, projects and jail cells of urban America, to some surprising places where we can all see ourselves reflected in a world that never stops changing. ‘An Islamic Conscience’ features the life of the Aga Khan, who has been the spiritual leader of 15 million Ismaili Muslims for the past five decades. Born into wealth and privilege, he has devoted his life to eliminating poverty and inequality. At a time when Islam is at odds within itself and with the West, this film presents the Aga Khan as a voice of mod- eration and pluralism. Riots in Sydney in 2005 signalled a deepening divide between Muslims and non-Muslims in Australia. The film ‘Beyond Beliefs’ tells the story of how, in March 2007, some 400 Australians came together at Old Parliament House in Canberra for three days to con- sider how to build understanding across the divide. Please consult the schedule for viewing times of each film, which should be watched as a prerequisite.
Wed., Dec. 9, 2009, 9:30-11:00
This distinguished panel of diverse and engaging Muslim men will examine the need for Muslim males to reflect upon what being a Muslim means, taking into account multifaceted roles of being fathers, husbands and leaders in the post-9/11 era. Panellists will talk about bridging the cross-generational gap between today’s young Muslim males and older generations. They will reflect upon efforts to guide the next generation of Muslim men away from vio- lence, extremism and political turmoil, towards tolerance, mutual respect, understanding and knowledge-based learning.