Ispahani details Islamic divisions

Posted Sept. 29, 2006

Students, faculty and staff gathered Sept. 26 when Professor of Business Administration and Economics Ahmed S. Ispahani gave an informal lecture that focused on the way the Islamic world is viewed today.

Ispahani’s lecture titled, “The Impact of Islam on Contemporary Geopolitics,” explained how the Islamic world is divided into several sects and how each sect varies in its level of conservatism.

“There can no longer be ignorance about the major religion impacting the world today,” Ispahani said to begin the lecture. “If there is one thing we need more of, its an understanding of other religions.”

Ispahani spoke about the different divisions of the Islamic world and how they have different interpretations of their holy book, the Quran.

It is because of these divisions that some sects grow to be more conservative than others.

The Taliban is one of the most fundamentalists of the sects, Ispahani said.

“The terrorists that attacked America were not fighting for Islam, they were fighting for themselves,” he said.

The discussion was then opened for a question and answer session where people had the opportunity to express concerns and ask questions regarding the Islamic faith.

Several people expressed a concern with the way the Islamic world is negatively portrayed in the media.

The lecture launched this year’s “Hot Spots” series which in the past has included speakers such as George McGovern, former United States senator and presidential candidate, as well as Los Angeles County Sheriff Leroy Baca

“I think it is good for ULV to have ‘Hot Spots,’” Ispahani said. “It expands world views and it is a learning experience outside of the classroom.”

“I wish more students would participate,” he added.

Approximately 30 people attended the event but only about six were students.

Those who attended really enjoyed the lecture.

“It was very fortunate, he did a great job of presenting a view of Islam we don’t see in the press,” said Ibrahim Helou, professor of business and associate dean of the school of business and global studies.

For others it was more about being educated about other religions.

“It was a way to promote understanding and therefore acceptance of others,” said Issam Ghazzawi, assistant professor of management.

Laura Bucio can be reached at lbucio@ulv.edu.

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