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in collaboration with The English Department, Hunter College (West Building) at 68th Street and Lexington Avenue

OCTOBER 22-25, 2015
October 25th, 2015 - 3:30 – 4:30 pm
Session 4A
Treading on Eggshells:The Muslim "Invasion"
Authors: Akeel Bilgrami
Moderator/Author:  J.J.Robinson

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Akeel BilgramiAkeel Bilgrami got his first degree in English Literature at Elphinstone College, Bombay and then went to Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar for another Bachelor's degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. He has a Ph.D in Philosophy from the University of Chicago. He is the Sidney Morgenbesser Chair of Philosophy at Columbia University, as well as a Professor in the Committee on Global Thought as well as the Director of the South Asian Institute there. His publications include Belief and Meaning (Wiley, 1992), Self-Knowledge and Resentment (Harvard, 2006), Secularism, Identity, and Enchantment (Harvard, 2014).
Secularism, Identity, and Enchantment Secularism, Identity, and Enchantment - Bringing clarity to a subject clouded by polemic, Secularism, Identity, and Enchantment is a rigorous exploration of how secularism and identity emerged as concepts in different parts of the modern world. At a time when secularist and religious worldviews appear irreconcilable, Akeel Bilgrami strikes out on a path distinctly his own, criticizing secularist proponents and detractors, liberal universalists and multicultural relativists alike.

JJ RobinsonJJ Robinson has worked as a journalist for 10 years, including four as editor of the Maldives’ first independent English-language news outlet. He covered crooked elections, political riots, Islamic extremism, human trafficking, grand corruption of the judiciary and was among the only foreign witnesses to the 2012 coup d'état that toppled the country’s first democratically-elected government. He was the Maldives' Reuters correspondent and its Reporters Without Borders representative, and has appeared on the BBC, Radio Australia, Al Jazeera and others as a Maldives expert. He has guest-lectured on journalism and the Maldives at universities in Australia and Sweden, and appeared on regional freedom of expression advisory panels for the UN.
Prior to the Maldives he worked for a family-run newspaper in the Australian outback town of Narrabri, and a business/technology magazine in London. He is a Fulbright scholar and recipient of the Alistair Cooke Award in Journalism. After receiving his MA from the Columbia School of Journalism in 2015, he worked with Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs and the Open Society Foundation studying how independent media outlets around the world innovate to survive. He also has a BA in Journalism with Honors in English from Charles Sturt University in Bathurst, Australia.
The MaldivesThe Maldives - It closely examines the downfall of the Maldivian democracy experiment, in particular the former dictatorship's exploitation of Islamic nationalism. The introduction of freedom of expression by the democracy movement proved a double-edged sword as it allowed a new and imported fundamentalist interpretation of Islam to very quickly destroy the country's traditional relaxed practice. The regime embraced extremism to topple the fledgling liberal democracy, and now the Maldives contributes more fighters to Islamic state per capita than any other country not directly involved in the armed conflict. It is at the same time trying to maintain its reputation as the top romantic honeymoon resort destination for hedonistic Westerners.

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