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    Adding the Voices of Women and Minorities to Interreligious Dialogue

    If the goal of Christian-Muslim dialogue is to improve relationships and conditions in society, that dialogue must include the voices of religious minorities such as Hindus, Buddhists and Jews, as well as women of all religions.

    That was the conclusion of the Duquesne University Christian-Muslim Dialogue Committee, as it planned the 2012 Symposium on Interreligious Dialogue. This year, the symposium-on Tuesday, Feb. 7, from 4 to 6:30 p.m. in the Africa Room of the Duquesne Union- will focus on building relationships and the role of women and minorities in interreligious dialogue in the United States.

    "We can't set up a world where minorities are ignored or wished away," said Dr. Marinus Iwuchukwu, assistant professor of theology. "We must include the issues of these groups who are too often marginalized."

    In many cultures, said Iwuchukwu, women aren't treated on the same level as men. "We are obligated to consider the gifts women bring to make dialogue more robust. We cannot leave them on the sidelines."

    Keynote speaker Daisy Khan, executive director, American Society for Muslim Advancement will discuss the strong voice that Muslim women can bring to religious interactions and discussion.

    The second keynote speaker is Dr. Peter C. Phan, S.T.D., D.D., Ignacio Ellacuria Chair of Catholic Social Thought at Georgetown University. He will focus on how minority voices are needed to sharpen and shape religious dialogue in the U.S.

    Free and open to the public, the program is organized by the Duquesne University Christian-Muslim Dialogue Committee and funded by National Endowment for the Humanities and the McAnulty College Office of the Dean. Sponsors are the Consortium for Educational Resources on Islamic Studies, the Office of Mission and Identity, the Department of Theology and Philosophy and the Office of Research.

    For more information, contact Iwuchukwu at or 412.396.1014.

    Duquesne University

    Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic research universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. The University is nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review for its rich academic programs in nine schools of study for nearly 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and by the Washington Monthly for service and contributing to students' social mobility. Duquesne is a member of the U.S. President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction for its contributions to Pittsburgh and communities around the globe. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Princeton Review's Guide to Green Colleges acknowledge Duquesne's commitment to sustainability.