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For the Media

Jewish/Muslim Relations: Bridging the Divide

American University Islamic Studies Professor and Washington Hebrew Congregation Rabbi discuss interfaith relations and issues

Akbar Ahmed, Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University
Bruce Lustig, Senior Rabbi at Washington Hebrew Congregation
John Donovan, correspondent, ABC News Nightline (moderator)

WHAT:   Professor Ahmed and Rabbi Lustig will discuss Jewish/Muslim relations and Ahmed’s new book, Journey Into America: The Challenge of Islam

WHEN:   7pm, Monday, October 11, 2010

WHERE:   School of International Studies Founders Room; American University, 4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20016

DETAILS: Interested media contact Maralee Csellar, American University’s Communications Office, at 202-885-5952 or

WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 7, 2010)—Two noted religious leaders— Islamic Studies Professor Akbar Ahmed and Washington Hebrew Congregation Senior Rabbi Bruce Lustig—will provide advice about how to understand today’s conflicting views about the American Muslim and Jewish communities and exchange ideas about how the two cultures can increase interrelations in a discussion at American University’s School of International Studies Founders Room on Monday, October 11.

Ahmed, an expert on Islam, and Lustig, an expert on Judaism, will discuss the two religions in depth and how to breach the chasm between the two religions. They will also discuss Professor Ahmed’s newest book, Journey into America: The Challenge of Islam (Brookings, 2010) in an event moderated by John Donovan correspondent with ABC’s Nightline.

Ahmed’s book explores the American identity and helps readers to understand Islam in America and abroad. The book combines an historical perspective on interfaith relationships with an unprecedented study on American Muslim communities, conducted by Ahmed and his team of five research assistants during a one year journey to learn what people think and feel about their Muslim American neighbors.

Ahmed, former Pakistani Ambassador to the United Kingdom and current Ibn Khaldun chair of Islamic studies at American University, has been dubbed by the BBC “the world’s leading authority on contemporary Islam.” Ahmed has advised the U.S. government agencies and military on terrorism and is internationally recognized by political and governmental leaders for his expertise on Islam, “homegrown terrorism,” Muslim Americans and other such topics.

Bruce Lustig, senior rabbi at the Washington Hebrew Congregation, leads a congregation of 3,000 members and is a pro-active leader of Washington’s Interfaith Community. Lustig organized the nation’s first Abrahamic Summit bringing together Christians, Jews, and Muslims for dialogue. He is involved in the Mayors Faith Advisory Board and the National Liaison for National Day of Prayer, as well as other community groups.

American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world.