Guest lecturer to discuss rising role of Islam in the world

Graham Fuller, former vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council at the CIA, will give a lecture called “Islam & the World Order” at Wake Forest University at 7 p.m. Oct. 23 in the law auditorium of the university’s Worrell Professional Center. The event is free and open to the public.

The talk is part of a year-long lecture series, “Living with the Legacy of Sept. 11,” and it is sponsored by the university’s Department of Political Science. The series has been planned around the central theme of “Remembering Sept. 11: Making the Move from Grief and Anger to Understanding and Action.” There are a total of six talks planned for the year.

Fuller, who also worked for 12 years as senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decision making through research and analysis, says people in the United States have limited knowledge of Islam. Since the United States is poised on the brink of a major confrontation with the Muslim world, it is imperative that people on both sides of the issue realize the differences and the problems they pose, Fuller says.

“Leaders in the U.S. need to realize that when you speak of political Islam, you are not just referring to Taliban or Osama bin Laden,” Fuller says. “The spectrum of political Islam is growing. There are liberals, conservatives, hard-liners, violent people, peaceful people, traditionalists and modernists in the Islamic world. There are democrats and there are people who are opposed to democracy. This is the reality that U.S. policy is going to have to deal with.”

Fuller, author of “Islamic Fundamentalism in Afghanistan: Its Character and Prospects” and “A Sense of Siege: The Geopolitics of Islam and the West,” says there is a growing sense in the Muslim world that the U.S. war against terrorism is actually a war against Islam.

Categories: Events, Speakers, University Announcement