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Reza Aslan to Speak on Islamophobia

Acclaimed Author Reza Aslan to Lecture Feb. 23 on Islamophobia

The UC Riverside professor is a frequent media commentator on events in the Middle East

(February 9, 2011)

Reza Aslan, associate professor of creative writing at UC RiversideEnlarge

Reza Aslan, associate professor of creative writing at UC Riverside

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Reza Aslan, a professor of creative writing at UC Riverside,will ask "Has America Become Islamophobic?" at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 23 at the Culver Center of the Arts, 3834 Main St., Riverside.

This is the second of three Lyceum Lectures sponsored by the Center for Ideas and Society this year.

The quarterly lectures provide an opportunity to hear from prominent members of the UC Riverside faculty. The lecture is free and open to the public. 

Aslan, a native of Iran, has been a frequent guest on national news programs, including The Colbert Report, CNN 360, and he is a columnist at the Daily Beast.

He has been tracking the protests in Cairo and will be able to give an update on the situation there during his Lyceum talk.

"Is it possible that we may have George Bush to thank for what is taking place across the Middle East?," Aslan asked. "After all it was Bush's democracy promotion that allowed Arabs their first taste of democracy in 2006 before he pulled the plug."

Generally, 46 percent of Americans reported a negative view of Islam last year in a Washington Post poss, even higher than in the months following the 9/11 attacks. “The same kind of Islamophobia that has made much of Europe inhospitable to its Muslim citizens is now threatening to seize the United States. The question is: will it lead to the same kind of radicalization among Muslim youth in the United States that we have seen in Europe?”

Aslan’s first book, No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam was a global bestseller - translated into thirteen languages and named one of the 100 most important books of the last decade. Professor Aslan is also the author of How to Win a Cosmic War: God, Globalization and the End of the War on Terror and Beyond Fundamentalism. Most recently, he edited an anthology of modern literature from the Middle East, Tablet & Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East. Aslan is the founder of an online news site called “Aslan Media” at

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