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Spokesperson for U. S. Muslims to present Bethel College Peace Lecture

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Maher Hathout, a leading spokesperson for the American Muslim community, will lecture on "U.S. Foreign Policy: Its Effect on Christian/Muslim Relations in the United States." He will speak at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 26 at the Muslim Community Center, Woodlawn and Highway 96, Wichita. Admission is free and open to the public. The lecture is the third of four programs in the 2003-04 Peace Lecture series sponsored by the Kansas Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution at Bethel College. At this event KIPCOR director Gary Flory will announce the names of the recipients of the 2003 KIPCOR Peacemaker of the Year award.

Hathout chairs the American Muslim Political Coordination Council, an umbrella organization for several national Muslim political organizations. He currently serves as vice-chairman of the Inter-Faith Alliance and is senior advisor of the Muslim Public Affairs Council.

He has been invited to speak at the State Department and on Capitol Hill. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Christian Science Monitor, and he has appeared on television and radio talk shows, including C-SPAN and Frontline.

Hathout’s most recent book, "Jihad vs. Terrorism" (2002), critiques the Islamic concept of jihad and the popular Western understanding of jihad to mean acts of violence under the guise of religion. Hathout emphasizes that the Qur’an characterizes the struggle of jihad as one which forbids violence against innocent civilians and abhors the notion of terrorism.

For information call (316) 284-5217.

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