Lecture Addresses Islamic Law, Muslim Women and Justice

| October 8, 2011

Sweet Briar’s Honors Program will host a lecture by attorney and human rights activist Rafia Zakaria at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13 in the 1948 Theater at the Fitness and Athletics Center. It is free and open to the public.

Zakaria, the first Pakistani-American woman to serve as director of Amnesty International USA, will present “Sharia Law, Muslim Women and the Quest for Justice.” Sharia refers to Islamic law.

It is a subject she is close to. “I will be sharing personal narratives relating to Sharia law from the lives of women in my family in Pakistan and my work representing Muslim women in U.S. courts,” Zakaria said.

Zakaria’s work has focused on Muslim women and minority rights. She co-founded the Muslim Women’s Legal Fund, which provides legal representation for clients facing domestic abuse in family and immigration law cases.

She is a doctoral candidate in political philosophy at Indiana University and teaches political theory, American constitutional law and the politics of Islam.  She also writes a weekly column for Dawn, one of Pakistan’s largest English-language daily newspapers, and blogs for Ms. magazine in the U.S.

Zakaria’s presentation is one of a series of events related to the theme of “testing tolerance” that underlies this year’s Honors Program seminars and colloquia. The theme is also tied to complementary academic initiatives, including the 2011-2012 common reading selection and the y:1 program for first-year students.

For more information, email [email protected] or call (434) 381-6473.

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