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WNE School of Law to Present ‘The Racial Muslim: When Racism Quashes Religious Freedom’

SPRINGFIELD — Western New England University (WNE) School of Law’s Clason Speaker Series will host “The Racial Muslim: When Racism Quashes Religious Freedom” on Wednesday, Nov. 10 from noon to 1 p.m. in the Law School Commons. The event will feature Sahar Aziz, professor of Law, Middle East legal scholar, and chancellor’s social justice scholar at Rutgers University Law School and founding director of the Center for Security, Race, and Rights. The event is free and open to the public. Lunch will be served.

Aziz’s groundbreaking book of the same title demonstrates how race and religion intersect to create what she calls the “racial Muslim.” Comparing discrimination against immigrant Muslims with the prejudicial treatment of Jews, Catholics, Mormons, and African-American Muslims during the 20th century, Aziz explores the gap between America’s aspiration for and fulfillment of religious freedom. With America’s demographics rapidly changing from a majority white Protestant nation to a multi-racial, multi-religious society, the book seeks to understand how our past continues to shape our present, to the detriment of our nation’s future.

The Clason Speaker Series presents expert lectures to the WNE School of Law. The series is named after Charles Clason, a prominent local attorney and member of the U.S. House of Representatives, who held the position of dean of the School of Law from 1954 to 1970. Today, the purpose of the Charles and Emma Clason Endowment Fund is to host speakers who will enhance the academic environment of the School of Law and the university.

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