Imam Bashar Arafat Gives Talk on "Muslims in the United States and the American-European Dialogue"

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Imam Bashar Arafat

Imam Bashar Arafat

On Monday, March 23, Imam Mohamad Bashar Arafat visited John Cabot University along with members of the US Embassy to the Holy See to speak about the experience of American Muslims in a time of rising Islamophobia and concerns in the Middle East. Imam Bashar Arafat is a Syrian-born American Imam who is the President and founder of the Civilizations Exchange and Cooperation Foundation in Maryland where he has also served as the chaplain for Johns Hopkins University. The lunchtime public roundtable lecture was the 4th in this year’s series of International Scholars on Interfaith Dialogue sponsored by the John Cabot University Interfaith Initiative and the US Embassy to the Holy See.

Before coming to Italy, the Imam was in Kyrgyzstan to speak with Muslims abroad about his experience living in the United States. The trip was his 40th overseas sponsored by the United States Department of State as part of the United States’ diplomatic outreach to the Muslim world. At John Cabot Imam Bashar Arafat shared with students the difficulties and hopes he lives as a Muslim leader in the United States and the challenges he faces in his attempt to establish enduring relationships with Muslims abroad, who are often suspicious of his American project, and non-Muslim Americans at home, who are often suspicious of him as a Muslim. Despite these difficulties, the Imam offered a vision of hope for the future and, within that vision, the positive role that American Muslims had to play.

Study Political Science at John Cabot University in Rome