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University of Iowa News Release

March 12, 2004

Iowa Conference On Islam To Be Held At UI

Nationally renowned speakers will visit the University of Iowa campus for the 4th Annual Iowa Conference On Islam, hosted by The Iowa Muslim Student Association (MSA), at the Iowa Memorial Union on March 26-28.

The student-organized conference is part of the revival of Islamic identity in Iowa, according to Asma Haidri of the Iowa MSA. Scholars, professors, local leaders, politicians, civil rights activists and students will gather in Iowa City to discuss this year's theme, "Islam: Unity of Diversity."

"There are so many differences in humanity," said Asma Haidri of the Iowa MSA. "The idea is to address diversity among Muslim culture and beliefs, and diversity among other religious traditions, and unite on common goals we share as people of faith."

Conference highlights include lectures and workshops, introductory sessions on Islam, movies, a bazaar and cultural exhibition and a fieldtrip to the oldest mosque in North America, the Mother Mosque, located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

"The biggest outcome of the conference in the past has been educating both Muslims and non-Muslims about issues relating to Islam and Muslims," said Haidri. "People have come together, and through honest and open discussion they have left with a better understanding of Islam and an appreciation for each other. This conference helps build dialogue and build a strong community."

Registration is free for all and forms are available on-line. For more information or how to register for this event, visit Iowa MSA website at http://www.IowaMuslims.org, or call 319-621-6375.

The Iowa MSA is a statewide organization seeking to continue the legacy of the first Muslims in America who settled in Iowa. MSA is made up of Muslim student organizations from the University of Iowa, University of Northern Iowa, Iowa State University, Mahirishi University of Management, Drake University and Kirkwood Community College.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010, tom-snee@uiowa.edu.Writer: Meghann Dowd.