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NMSU Honors College to present Islamic expert

Vali Nasr, a leading expert on the Islamic world and Muslim politics, will speak at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 10, at New Mexico State University's Music Center Recital Hall.



Vali Nasr, a leading expert on the Islamic world and Muslim politics, will speak at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 10, at New Mexico State University's Music Center Recital Hall. (Courtesy Photo)

presentation, "The Politics of the Muslim World," is part of the University Speakers Series, which brings prominent speakers to Las Cruces. No tickets are required and admission is free.



As a consultant to the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development, Nasr has provided expert testimony to the U.S. Senate on the Muslim world. He is a major influence on ongoing public debates on critical issues such as Islam and democracy, Islamic extremism and anti-Americanism, America's relations with Iran and the war in Iraq. He also has advised senior policy makers, members of Congress and leading executives in the private sector.

Nasr is a professor and associate chair of research in the Department of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School and an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is the author of several books on politics and Islam, including "Democracy in Iran" and "The Shia Revival: How Conflicts within Islam will Shape the Future."

His presentation will review a framework to understand the successes and failures of democracy in the Muslim world. Nasr traces the key developments that have shaped Muslim politics in the last five years - the democratization of Turkey, Sept. 11 and al-Qaeda, the impact of the war in Iraq and the paradox of Iran.

Nasr's presentation is part of a series of events the Honors College will host this semester related to the Middle East to help students broaden their horizons and become more aware of the world they live in, said William Eamon, dean of the Honors College.

"We chose the Middle East and Islamic culture as our theme for the semester because of its high relevance for today's international scene," Eamon said. "Students need these different perspectives to use as tools after they graduate."

The University Speakers Series, presented by the Honors College and the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, strives to bring to Las Cruces distinguished lecturers who will appeal to a broad community audience. Previous speakers have included Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh, environmental attorney Robert Kennedy Jr., Native American author N. Scott Momaday and neurologist Oliver Sacks.