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Political Islam Subject of Pomona College Panel

Pomona College’s Pomona Student Union together with the Oldenborg Center and the International Relations faculty present "Allah Democracy and the Believers," a discussion on political Islam, on Thursday, November 16, at 7 p.m., in the Pomona College Edmunds Ballroom, located in the Smith Campus Center (170 E. Sixth St., Claremont)

Modeled as a guided discussion, the event will explore questions of democratization, modernity, women's rights, sovereignty and Islamic traditions such as Shar'ia law. The event is expected to span both theoretical and practical discussions in Islamic countries throughout the world. The event will feature Leonard Binder, professor and director of the Center for Near Eastern Studies at UCLA, and Robert Lee, professor of political science at Colorado College.

Binder has done field research in Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, Tunisia, and Pakistan. Professor Binder is the author of Religion and Politics in Pakistan (1961), Iran: Political Development in a Changing Society (1962), The Ideological Revolution in the Middle East (1964), In a Moment of Enthusiasm: Political Power and the second Stratum in Egypt (1978), and Islamic Liberalism (1988). He is a founding member and has served as President of the Middle East Studies Association of North America. He has been a member of both the Comparative Politics and the Middle East Studies committees of the Social Science Research Council.

Lee focuses his research on the politics of the Middle East. He is the author of Overcoming Tradition and Modernity: The Search for Islamic Authenticity (1997) and translated, from French, Algerian author Mohammed Arkoun’s Rethinking Islam: Common Questions, Uncommon Answers (1994). He is currently at work on a manuscript about religion and politics in the Middle East.

The Pomona Student Union, the host of the debate, is a non-partisan student organization dedicated to "raising the level of honest and open dialogue on campus.