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Muslims in America: Loyola professor, students lead interactive discussions at New Orleans Public Library

Loyola press release - October 15, 2013

As Islam and countries with large Muslim populations dominate recent news headlines, a Loyola University New Orleans professor and three of his students will help shed light on Muslims living in America during interactive discussions at the New Orleans Public Library Norman Mayer Branch. Running through Nov. 12, the public series is exploring what it means to be Muslim and American through five intriguing books—even at a time of crisis and U.S. involvement in the predominantly Muslim Middle East region.

“Let’s Talk About It: Muslim Journeys,” a reading and discussion series, has been made possible through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities in cooperation with the American Library Association to the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, and is part of the Readings in Literature and Culture series administered by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. The New Orleans Public Library is one of 840 cultural and educational institutions across the country selected to receive this program.

This fall, the timely series is led by Loyola Director of Middle East Peace Studies Behrooz Moazami, Ph.D., Loyola senior English major Patrick Moran, Loyola senior biology major and president of the university's Muslim Students Association Hiba Elaasar and Loyola junior English and history double major Simon Whedbee. The team is hosting the free, public conversations every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. from Oct. 15 through Nov. 12 at the New Orleans Public Library located at 3001 Gentilly Boulevard. The team will highlight one of five books for each meeting (in order of discussion):

The books portray Islam from the American Muslim’s perspective, from the adoption of the hijab—the Muslim female practice of wearing head coverings and other concealing garments in public—to the risk of falling prey to extremists who preach radical interpretations of their religion that promote hate and violence.