NPR correspondent among panel on ‘Terror in the Name of Religion’

BOWLING GREEN, O.—What happens when religion becomes a force not for peace but for violence? Bowling Green State University’s Department of Journalism and Public Relations will host a day focusing on “Terror in the Name of Religion” on March 17. Events will include a panel discussion with three national experts and the second annual Hiroko Nakamoto Peace Lecture. Both are free and open to the public.

At a time of strained relations between nations, ethnic and religious groups, when communication and understanding are more important than ever to national security, research studies by Gallup and others suggest American journalism does a poor job of covering Islamic and Muslim affairs at home and abroad.

The BGSU panel will discuss “Media Coverage of Terror in the Name of Religion,” at 7 p.m. in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union Theater.

The panelists are:

• Dr. Charles Kimball, Presidential Professor and director of the Religious Studies Program at the University of Oklahoma. Kimball is a Middle Eastern studies scholar, Baptist theologian, specialist in Islamic studies, and author of “When Religion Becomes Evil,” named one of the top 15 books on religion in 2002 by Publishers Weekly. His new book, “When Religion Becomes Lethal,” comes out in April.

Kimball will also deliver the Nakamoto lecture at 2:30 p.m. that afternoon in 111 Olscamp Hall. His topic will be “Turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa: Things That Make for Peace-Building.”

• Jamie Tarabay, National Public Radio national correspondent and former NPR Baghdad Bureau Chief. After reporting from Iraq for two years in that capacity, she has begun a two-year project reporting on America's 6 million Muslims and the issues facing their daily lives as Americans. She is the author of “A Crazy Occupation: Covering the First Intifada,” and worked in the Middle East for a decade, first for the Associated Press and then for NPR.

• Salam Al-Marayati, president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council. He speaks and has written extensively on Islam, human rights, democracy, Middle East politics, the Balkan Crisis, and the Transcaucus conflict. His articles and interviews have appeared in newspapers from The Wall Street Journal to the San Francisco Chronicle and USA Today. He has appeared on radio and TV talk shows and has been featured on C-SPAN and NBC.

Dr. Catherine Cassara, an associate professor of journalism, will serve as moderator. Cassara is co-director of federal grants BGSU has to partner with universities in Tunisia and Algeria to promote environmental journalism education.

The presentation is BGSU’s 2011 Florence and Jesse Currier Endowed Lecture, with support from the United Muslim Association of Toledo. The day’s sponsors also include the School of Media and Communication and BGSU’s Peace and Conflict Studies Program.

The Florence and Jesse Currier Fund at BGSU is used for journalism scholarships, faculty development, special projects and the annual lecture series, which brings distinguished journalists and media professionals to campus to speak and meet with students and faculty.    

The Hiroko Nakamoto Peace Lecture is made possible by the support that Ms. Nakamoto, a BGSU alumna, provides to the Peace and Conflict Studies Program.      

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(Posted March 10, 2011 )