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Malcolm X Justice and Peace Lecture Series

Series promotes intellectual traditions of African American, African and Islamic authors and activists

Co-sponsored by numerous MCTC student groups and academic departments, MCTC is hosting the first annual Malcolm X Justice and Peace Lecture Series Thursday, March 28.

The day-long event, forecast to take place annually, aims to promote the intellectual traditions of African American, African and Islamic authors and activists as they relate to contemporary issues of justice and peace. The series also intends to raise awareness of local and global issues of injustice and oppression, facilitate dialogue on issues of justice and peace throughout the MCTC community and promote student and academic initiatives that address issues of injustice and oppression.

Activities are scheduled to take place all day, and incorporate specific MCTC classes, student leaders and the broader MCTC community. Two events are open to the public:

  • Film screening, Have You Heard from Johannesburg: From Selma to Soweto, 1–2:30 p.m. in room L.3000 at MCTC
  • Public lecture by South African professor Maulana Farid Esack*, 6–8:30 p.m. in the MCTC T Plaza. Additional features include a performance by Somali youth group Ka Joog, presentation by Somali activist and MCTC alum Saciido Shaie and special guest Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison. Food will be provided by the Holy Land Bakery and Deli

Groups sponsoring this event include MCTC’s DECA, Philosophy Club, Community Development Club, African American Education Empowerment Program AME (AME), Student African American Sisterhood (SAAS), Student African American Brotherhood (SAAB), WANDA, Muslim Student Association (MSA), African Diaspora Studies Program, Philosophy department, Global Studies Department, MCTC Foundation, Student Life, Ka Joog and TCF.

* Biography of Professor Maulana Farid Esack

Professor Maulana Farid EsackProf. Esack is a South African scholar of Islam who completed the Darsi Nizami, the traditional Islamic Studies program, in Madrasahs in Karachi, Pakistan. He completed his PhD at the University of Birmingham (UK) and subsequently performed post-doctoral work on Biblical Hermeneutics at the Philosophisch Theologische Hochschule, Sankt Georgen in Frankfurt-am-Main.

He is the author of several publications including Qur’an, Liberation & Pluralism: An Islamic Perspective of Interreligious Solidarity Against Oppression, On Being a Muslim: Finding a Religious Path in the World Today and An Introduction to the Qur’an (all by Oxford: Oneworld). His current major field of interest and commitment is Islam and AIDS. He is the author of a series of publications dealing with this area including Islam, HIV and AIDS—Reflections Based on Compassion, Responsibility and Justice. More recently (2009) he co-edited Islam and AIDS—Between Scorn, Pity and Justice with Sarah Chiddy. He has also published widely on Islam, gender, liberation theology, inter-faith relations, religion and identity and Qur'anic hermeneutics.

Formerly a National Commissioner on Gender Equality appointed by President Nelson Mandela, he has taught at the University of the Western Cape, at Amsterdam, Hamburg and Gadjah Mada Universities and Union Theological Seminary in New York. He is a former Distinguished Mason Fellow at the College of William & Mary, and the Besl Professor in Ethics, Religion and Society at Xavier University in Ohio. Just before his recent appointment as professor in the Study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg, he held a joint appointment for two years at Harvard University between the Divinity School and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences as the William Henry Bloomberg Professor.

A veteran of the struggle against Apartheid and an activist in the inter-religious solidarity movement for justice and peace and that struggle, he played a leading role in the United Democratic Front, the Call of Islam, the Organization of People Against Sexism and the World Conference on Religion and Peace.

In addition to his academic pursuit, he continues his activism through Positive Muslims, an organization working with Muslims who are HIV positive in South Africa, and through the several development boards on which he serves in South Africa and internationally. He struggles to live and understand the meaning of faith as well as an alternative liberatory vision in a world savaged by the Empire and the often dehumanizing responses by its subjects and victims.