WASHINGTON, March 1, 2012 – The American Islamic Congress (AIC) today announced the launch of unprecedented series of public debates on the intersection of Islam and science in the modern world.  Titled “Science and Islam,” the series will bring together renowned scholars and scientists to explore how today’s Muslims reconcile faith and science. Six dialogues held over the course of three years on the campuses of some of the best research universities in the United States and Canada will address such issues as the origins of the Universe, Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, extraterrestrial life, the history and future of science and Islam. The series is being implemented by AIC’s student-led initiative, Project Nur.

“There is little public discussion on these topics, but exploring these issues is important for both Muslims and non-Muslims. The contributions made by Muslims to science is an important conversation to publically open, especially for students exploring these issues in their own lives,” said Shakir Mohammed, Project Nur Program Manager for AIC. “We want the Series to provide a forum and a road map for this much needed discussion and for recognition of the contributions Muslims have made to science both today and in previous centuries,” Mohammed added.


The dialogues will feature interactive format allowing audiences to participate and engage with panelists in person and online. Evaluations of public opinion will accompany each debate taken before and after the event. The Series will culminate in a comprehensive report on the attitudes of Muslims toward religion and science.


The first dialogue titled “Creation of the Universe: Qur’anic Concepts and Scientific Theories” will take place on April 4, 2012, at the University of Iowa. The debate will be moderated by Dr. Ali Hasan, an assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Iowa. The keynote address will be delivered by Dr. Nidhal Guessoum, a prominent astrophysicist and author of “The Story of the Universe – From Primitive Conceptions to the Big Bang” and “Islam’s Quantum Question – Reconciling Muslim Tradition and Modern Science.”


The panel will feature Dr. Salman Hameed, an assistant professor of Integrated Science and Humanities at Hampshire College, and John Farrell, a renowned science writer. Dr. Hameed’s research addresses attitudes toward religion and science among modern Muslims. He wrote a chapter Evolution and Creationism in the Islamic World in the just released book “Science and Religion: New Historical Perspectives.” Farrell is a 2010 Templeton-Cambridge Journalism Fellow in Science and Religion and the author of “The Day without Yesterday: Lemaître, Einstein and the Birth of Modern Cosmology.”


For more information about “Science and Islam” visit: www.aicongress.org/science-islam

For more information about Project Nur visit: www.projectnur.org

For more information on AIC visit: www.aicongress.org



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