DCM Sadiq and Shahid
Hussain Enthrall American
By Jerusha Ghazanfari
DC: Dr. Akbar S. Ahmed welcomed Mohammad Sadiq, Embassy of
Pakistan’s Deputy Chief of Mission, to the American
University on Thursday, November 10th when he arrived to give
a lecture on Islam and South Asia.
To introduce his lecture Mr. Sadiq shared with the students
the outcome of a recent poll taken of 400 young professional
Pakistanis. About 90% described Dr. Akbar Ahmed as the best-known
Pakistani role model in the United States and the best recognized
Pakistani outside of Pakistan. Inside Pakistan’s borders,
of course, Pervez Musharraf was the best recognized.
Mr. Sadiq provided insight into Islam’s historical expansion
into South Asia by detailing the religion’s 8th century
introduction to the region by Sufis, thereby establishing
the message of tolerance and peace. He also skillfully answered
complex questions regarding education, Pakistan’s recent
earthquake and its implications, and other economic issues
facing the South Asian region today. Mr. Sadiq discussed the
history of Kashmir as well as the evolution of tension between
India and Pakistan regarding this region. He also explained
the role of the madrassa and how its students are easily misunderstood
in the controversy surrounding education these days.
Dr. Ahmed then introduced Shahid Hussain, former Senior Vice
President of the World Bank, to the AU audience. Mr. Hussain
spoke briefly about his interpretation as to why many Muslim
countries currently find themselves in a period of transition,
tension and intellectual decline.
“By inviting such distinguished guests to my Contemporary
Islam and International Relations class, my students have
the opportunity to learn directly from the individuals responsible
for implementing policies that change the world they live
in,” said Dr. Ahmed.
Dr. Ahmed, Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies and professor
of International Relations at the American University, has
been actively involved in inter-faith dialogue for several
years. He continues to foster understanding between Islam
and the West by inviting distinguished guests such as Mohammad
Sadiq and Shahid Hussain to speak to his classes.
As with Dr. Ahmed’s previous guest speakers, students
were eager for the opportunity to listen to Mr. Sadiq as well
as to ask candid questions regarding Pakistan’s stance
on difficult issues such as illiteracy, the recent earthquake,
“Mohammad Sadiq was excellent. He stressed education
and clearly explained the Kashmir situation, which always
confused me,” said Ryan Grannon-Doll, a senior majoring
in international studies at AU.
“I thought both Mr. Sadiq and Mr. Hussain spoke clearly
and to the point, giving the class a much-needed education
on topics that can possibly transform the Middle East and