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APSU philosophy prof to speak on influence of Muslim conflict

For more than 13 centuries, the major religious conflict in the Muslim world has been the Sunni–Shi'a conflict that goes back to the very beginnings of Islam.

The extent and periodic intensity of this conflict has often been overlooked, especially by politicians. America experienced this in major ways in Iraq, and it is a factor in Afghanistan as well as one of the major hurdles to peace in the Middle East.
For more than 13 centuries, the major religious conflict in the Muslim world has been the Sunni—Shi'a conflict that goes back to the very beginnings of Islam.

The extent and periodic intensity of this conflict has often been overlooked, especially by politicians. America experienced this in major ways in Iraq, and it is a factor in Afghanistan as well as one of the major hurdles to peace in the Middle East.

Dr. Bert Randall, professor of philosophy and religion at Austin Peay State University, will explore this centuries-old conflict that continues to influence the current situation in the Middle East, especially Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Randall's presentation, titled “The Shi'a, the Sunni Wahhabi, the Taliban and Al-Qaeda,” will be the next session in the Library Athenaeum series at APSU. He will speak at 2 p.m., Tuesday, April 6 on the third floor of Woodward Library.

He will use the material recently developed for training sessions with the 1st Squadron, 32nd Cavalry at Fort Campbell, Ky., prior to the unit's spring deployment to Afghanistan. Central to the unit's command staff was a concern about how extremists such as al-Qaida and the Taliban pervert the Quran in order to justify violence, and how to respond in terms of what the Quran and hadiths teach.

Other weekly events are scheduled this semester on such diverse topics as Thrasher magazine and faculty mentoring and student success. Athenaeum events are held on the third floor of Woodward Library and are free and open to the public. Students are highly encouraged to attend.

The purpose of the Library Athenaeum series, launched in 2007, is to conduct events that promote and enhance the intellectual life of the University and the region, reach out to students and make connections with them in places other than the classroom and to portray the library as a place to share, explore, discuss and think about ideas and events. Sessions consist of speeches or presentations, panel discussions, debates, readings and performances.

For more information, call Joe Weber, director of library services at APSU, at 221-7618, e-mail at weberj@apsu.edu or visit online to see other Library Athenaeum events planned at http://library.apsu.edu/events/2009_2010athenaeumschedule.htm. -- Melony Shemberger