Widener Law hosts community forum "A conversation with Delaware Valley Muslim Leaders"
Published: March 12, 2007
Widener University School of Law will host a community forum, "A conversation with Delaware Valley Muslim Leaders," at the law school on Concord Pike Sunday, March 18 from 4 to 6 p.m. The public is encouraged to attend this free event.

Law Professor Alan E. Garfield, the H. Albert Young Fellow in Constitutional Law, has organized the program and will moderate the discussion. Panelists will answer questions posed by him during the first half of the program. Topics will include fundamentals of Islam, the nature of the American Muslim population, the concept of jihad, women in Islam, Sunni and Shiite Muslims, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, anti-Semitism, the impact of 9/11 on the American Muslim population, the use of racial profiling and the role of moderate Muslims. Panelists include:

Sofia Ali-Khan, a staff attorney at Community Legal Services in Philadelphia. She is an active board member of the Council on American-Islamic Relations of Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Immigrant and Citizenship Coalition, and an advisory board member of the Liberty Center for Survivors of Torture.

John Pavloff, an assistant district attorney in Chester County for 19 years. He has been a board member, vice president and secretary of the Islamic Society of Chester County.

Dr. Mazhar Rishi, chief of pathology at St. Francis Hospital in Wilmington. He is the director of interfaith programs for the Delaware Valley Council on American-Islamic Relations. Dr. Rishi immigrated to the United States from Pakistan in 1984. He has served in the U.S. Air Force on both active duty and active reserve.

Dr. James Stephenson, an occupational and travel medicine physician at Pottstown Memorial Medical Center. He is a former chairman of the board of the Islamic Society of Chester County.

Audience members may ask questions during the program's second half. A reception will follow.

"A democracy works best when people are informed and engaged," Garfield said. "This program has been designed to promote a better understanding of one another with an eye toward a healthier democracy. Widener, the only law school is Delaware, is a perfect venue for 'We the People' to gather, converse, and learn about our fellow citizens."

The law school has ample, free parking and those who attend are encouraged - for the school's planning purposes - to make reservations, although they are not required. To make a reservation, contact Constance Sweeney at 302.477.2177 or cmsweeney@mail.widener.edu.