Rice’s Boniuk Institute, World Affairs Council of Houston to host ‘Between Faith and Extremism: An Interfaith Conversation’ March 9


David Ruth

Jeff Falk

 Rice’s Boniuk Institute, World Affairs Council of Houston to host ‘Between Faith and Extremism: An Interfaith Conversation’ March 9

HOUSTON – (Feb. 29, 2016) – Rabbi Reuven Firestone and Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, two thought leaders in their respective faith communities who are committed to interfaith dialogue and exchange, will visit Houston March 9 to participate in a discussion about the relationship between religion and extremism.

0229_BONIUKRice University’s Boniuk Institute for the Study and Advancement of Religious Tolerance and the World Affairs Council of Greater Houston (WAC) are co-hosting the event, which requires advance registration. Admission costs $10 for WAC members and $30 for nonmembers. For more information or to register, go to www.wachouston.org/assnfe/ev.asp?ID=701.

Who: Rabbi Reuven Firestone, professor in medieval Judaism and Islam at Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles and president of the International Qur’anic Studies Association, and Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, chairman of the Cordoba Initiative, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving relations between Muslims and non-Muslims and promoting moderation.

What: “Between Faith and Extremism: An Interfaith Conversation.”

When: Wednesday, March 9, 6:30-8 p.m. (Registration begins at 6 p.m. On-site registration is $35 for nonmembers.)

Where: Hilton Houston Post Oak, Ballroom, 2001 Post Oak.

From the IRA to ISIS, the world has witnessed unspeakable violence committed in the name of religion, according to event organizers. Global peace seems to be an elusive goal. An ongoing refugee crisis is occurring alongside a radical social media campaign, and the need to understand and address the relationship between religion and extremism could not be greater today, organizers said.

The World Affairs Council of Greater Houston promotes better understanding of the world — the people, politics, economies and cultures — enabling citizenry to participate more effectively in the global community. The Houston council is one of the leading councils in the country and has some of the highest attendance and membership among the 96-plus councils in the United States. Part of the Houston community for over four decades, the council builds bridges in an increasingly interconnected world, while giving a voice to this global city. In addition to offering programs for the general public, the council’s Education Department offers global learning opportunities for Houston-area schools and universities.

The Boniuk Institute was founded in 2013 with a gift from Houston philanthropists Dr. Milton and Laurie Boniuk. It is an expansion of the Boniuk Center that was created at Rice in 2004. The Boniuk Center was dedicated to fostering tolerance among people of all and no faiths and to studying the conditions in which tolerance and intolerance flourish. The Boniuk Institute’s expanded mission focuses on research, education and community engagement.

Members of the news media who want to attend should RSVP to Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at jfalk@rice.edu or 713-348-6775.

All media requests for Abdul Rauf must be directed to Susan Assadi of Gitenstein and Assadi Public Relations at susan@gapr.biz  or 480-860-8792.


Follow the Boniuk Institute via Twitter @BoniukInstitute.

Follow the World Affairs Council of Greater Houston via Twitter @WACHouston.

Follow the Cordoba Initiative via Twitter @Cordoba_Init.

Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.

Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,910 undergraduates and 2,809 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for best quality of life and for lots of race/class interaction by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to http://tinyurl.com/AboutRiceUniversity.

About Jeff Falk

Jeff Falk is director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.