LOCK HAVEN, Pa. - With support from the Lock Haven University Foundation, the Ethics Center will host two events featuring an American Muslim journalist and peace activist. At 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 6, 2008, Professor Asra Nomani will lead a luncheon discussion in Bentley S06. The topic of the discussion will be “Standing Alone: An American Woman’s Struggle for the Soul of Islam—A Conversation with Asra Nomani.” Also on November 6, at 6:00 p.m. in the Hamblin Hall of Flags, Nomani will deliver a presentation entitled "Jihad bil Qallam: How an American Muslim Journalist Decided to Wage a ‘Holy Struggle with the Pen’ for Peace and Understanding in the World.” Both events are free and open to the public. Lock Haven University is a member of the Pennsylvania State
System of Higher Education (PASSHE), the largest provider of higher education in
the commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 250 degree and certificate
programs in more than 120 areas of study. Nearly 405,000 system alumni live and
work in Pennsylvania.
Nomani, a former reporter for the Wall Street Journal for 15 years, is the author of "Standing Alone: An American Woman's Struggle for the Soul of Islam." She is co-director of the Pearl Project, an investigation at the Center for Public Integrity, a Washington, D.C., a nonprofit journalism organization, into the kidnapping and murder of her friend and colleague Daniel Pearl.
Born in 1965 in Bombay, India, she came to the United State at the age of four. Raised in the foothills of West Virginia in Morgantown, W.V., she attended West Virginia University, where she worked at the student newspaper while earning her bachelor's degree in liberal sciences. She later earned a master's degree in international communications from the American University's School of International Service.
After September 11, 2001, while on leave from the Wall Street Journal, Nomani became a correspondent for Salon magazine, reporting in Pakistan. Nomani was inspired by tragedy and hope following the kidnapping and murder of Pearl in 2002 in Karachi, Pakistan, where Pearl and his wife Mariane were staying at Nomani's home when he was kidnapped. Nomani was actively involved in the investigation to find Pearl. Nomani returned to her home in Morgantown, where she wrote “Standing Alone: An American Woman's Struggle for the Soul of Islam.”
In 2003, Nomani challenged rules at her family's mosque in Morgantown, Virginia that required women to enter through a back door and pray in a secluded balcony. She was put on trial at her mosque to be banished. The New York Times wrote about her "Rosa Parks-style activism."
Nomani has written on issues related to Islam for the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time magazine, American Prospect, Slate and Sojourners magazine. Her work has appeared in such magazines as Sports Illustrated for Women, Runner's World and People. She has provided commentary on CNN, NPR, BBC, Nightline and Al-Jazeera, among others. As a writer-activist, Nomani is dedicated to reclaiming women's rights and principles of tolerance in the Muslim world.
Last year, Nomani started the Pearl Project, a faculty-student investigation at Georgetown University into the kidnapping and murder of Pearl. She is completing the investigation as co-director of the project at the Center for Public Integrity in Washington, D.C. She currently lives in Washington, DC with her son, Shibli.
Those who plan to attend the 12:30 discussion are asked to contact Professor of Philosophy Joan Whitman Hoff at 570-484-2642 or www.lhup.edu/jhoff, as lunch will be sponsored by the LHU Women’s Studies Program.