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Lasell Holds Forum "10 Years After 9/11"

September 9, 2011

September 11, 2001 may be one of the most remembered days of the 21st century, but what does it mean to Lasell students? The Center for Spiritual Life brought this question to light Friday by hosting a community forum titled "Perceptions of Islam in America: 10 Years After 9/11."

The presentation included three Lasell professors of diverse backgrounds speaking about 9/11 and its implications based on their unique perspectives.

Speakers at Friday's event included Dana Janbek, a Jordanian-born Communications Professor who discussed her experience with Muslim and Arab stereotypes in the U.S. media as well as her research on terrorism; English Professor Salam Mir, who was born in the Middle East, spoke about diversity in the American Muslim community, called "Islamaphobia" a "fear industry" and read a poem about tolerance by Muslim mystic Rumi; and History Professor Joseph Aieta talked about 9/11 and the consequences the U.S. still faces today and reminded those in the audience that 358 muslims died on 9/11.

Dr. Thomas P. Sullivan, director of Lasell's Center for Spiritual Life, said he hopes the event will open the door to more candid conversations in Lasell's community. With the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 approaching, Sullivan wanted to connect Lasell students, who were very young in 2001, to the events of that day and the aftermath.

"It is important to start a conversation about 9/11 and to commemorate those who were lost and to start and open conversation about religion," said Sullivan. He also hopes the open forum will lead to ongoing discussions about terrorism, stereotypes, and religion.


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