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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Activities & Organizations

Event to open dialogue on Islamophobia


Jibran Nasir, a popular lecturer, during one of his many talks. | Courtesy of Urdu Baithak

The Urdu Baithak student organization and Indus Arts Council will host their biggest event this semester, “Islamophobia,” at 4 p.m. Wednesday in the Kiva Room in Farish Hall.

The lecture will feature Jibran Nasir, a renowned lawyer and civil rights activist from Karachi, Pakistan, who regularly engages youths on topics such as extremism and social taboos. Nasir aims to end extremist violence and has dedicated himself to this mission since the attack on Army Public School in Peshawar.

Consequently, he co-founded social welfare organizations like Elaj Trust, Pakistan For All and Never Forget Pakistan.

“In the current sociopolitical environment in America, I think it’s high time that we talk about these topics,” said Shahid Iqbal, founder of the Indus Arts Council. “There are many shades of Islamophobia than can be talked about. This kind of event gives us the opportunity to talk about even those aspects which never get to see the daylight.”

At this event, he will touch upon social and political topics relevant to Islamophobia and will end the lecture with a Q&A segment.

The event will commence with Nasir speaking about the various aspects of Islamophobia in today’s society. Rajaa Abidi, president of Urdu Baithak, said audiences can converse with Nasir at the end of the lecture.

Last semester, as officers of the newly established Urdu Baithak organization discussed event ideas for this semester, Abidi said they concurred this would be a relevant topic to the UH audience. Nasir has previously spoken at Columbia, Yale and Harvard among other prestigious universities.

Abidi said Nasir has had a fan following since because of his skills as a motivational speaker.

“What better place to have the lecture than the University of Houston, which prides itself on diversity, openness, and open-mindedness toward all topics and people?” Iqbal said.

The event’s organizers invited Nasir because he brings ideas and opinions from the other half of the world, which is where Iqbal says is harder to perform good deeds and create change.

“When he would talk about civic service over there or movements in that part of the world, that would be an eye-opener for many of the Westerners because this kind of information is not on BBC,” Iqbal said. “He will the bring he every day that happens in those cities, to the young people over here.”

The event is free and open to the public. It is suggested that audience members come prepared with questions.

More information on the speaker and event can be found here.

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