Panel discussion explores democracy in the Muslim world

National security policy analyst Mohamed Elibiari of Dallas joins Islamic outreach organization founder Awadh Z. Binhazim of Nashville for a panel discussion Monday, Oct. 25, entitled "The Challenge for Democracy in the Muslim World."

The event will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room of the Roaden University Center. This is an event sponsored by Tennessee Tech University's Center Stage program and is part of the "Issues in the Muslim World" speaker series. The event is free and open to the public.

"One of the raging debates between the Muslim and Western world is the progress and transformation of the Muslim world towards democracy," said Wali R. Kharif, TTU history professor and campus host for the event.

Elibiari is currently pursuing a certification in homeland security studies at Michigan State University's School of Criminal Justice. He was a 2008-2009 fellow at the University of Southern California American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute, a joint program through USC's Center for Religion and Civic Culture, and Georgetown University's Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding. He is a contributing expert on religion, politics and culture for The Dallas Morning News and the weekly Texas Faith blog.

He also co-founded the Freedom and Justice Foundation in 2002 to promote a centrist public policy environment in Texas and spearheaded founding of the Texas Islamic Council in 2005. Prior to founding the Freedom and Justice Foundation, Elibiari spent seven years working in the banking and information technology industries.

Binhazim is founding president of Olive Tree Education of Nashville, an Islamic education and outreach organization. He has more than 20 years of university-level teaching experience and has spent the last 13 years providing Islamic instruction and education. He has taught courses on Islam at the Vanderbilt University Divinity School and has designed curricula to teach Islam to new Muslims and non-Muslims. He is currently a professor of pathology at Meharry Medical College and Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

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