WMU News

Expert on Muhammad and Islam speaks at WMU

March 30, 2005

KALAMAZOO--Writer, lecturer and documentary producer Alexander Kronemer addresses "Islam, Muhammad...America?" in a program presented by the Muslim Student Association at Western Michigan University at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 7, in the North Ballroom of the Bernhard Center.

The free, public program includes a dinner of international cuisine, student exhibits, the lecture and an open discussion. Seating is limited and reservations are required by Friday, April 1. To make reservations, visit MSA on the Web at www.msa-wmu.org/events/alexander_kronemer.

Together with Michael Wolfe, Kronemer created and produced the 2002 PBS documentary "Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet." In his April 7 talk, Kronemer will discuss how, long after Muhammad's death, his cultural traditions and values spread throughout the Eastern world. The major content of Kronemer's speech will deal with the Prophet Muhammad's traditions--now known collectively as Islam--and their impact on the Western world, specifically the United States.

The purpose of Kronemer's presentation, according to MSA officers, is to promote multicultural understanding and cooperation. The topic for the April 7 gathering was chosen based on suggestions from surveys completed at MSA's previous event in November.

Kronemer holds a master's degree in theological studies from Harvard University, where his research concentrated on the philosophy of religion and comparative religion. In 1996, he was awarded a Joseph J. Malone Fellowship for Middle East and Islamic Studies, which funded a study tour of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

As a lecturer, Kronemer has delivered talks on religious diversity and Islam for the U.S. Department of Justice, Department of State, FBI, World Affairs Council, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations and at a number of American universities.

In 2000, Kronemer served a one-year appointment at the State Department's Bureau of Human Rights, focusing on the Middle East and Islam. That same year, he also served as a delegate to the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva, Switzerland.

Kronemer has had essays published in numerous newspapers and online journals, including the Christian Science Monitor, Los Angeles Times, San Jose Mercury News and Washington Post. His articles have been included in several book anthologies, including the September 11 memorial book "Up From the Ashes" (2001) and Wilber Prize winner "Taking Back Islam" (2002).

His work has been supported by numerous grants, including those from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Montgomery County Commission on the Humanities and a Halberstam Writing Fellowship.

Media contact: Thom Myers, 269 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

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