Michael Winiarski, a Transatlantic Media Fellow and Middle East correspondent for Sweden’s largest circulating daily newspaper, will become that newspaper’s Washington correspondent in January. Last month he gave a talk at the University of Wisconsin-Madison about the Swedish perspective on the Middle East, and answered a few of my questions. Continue reading
Milwaukee-born writer Ayad Akhtar’s debut novel, American Dervish, is a coming-of-age tale with a twist. As he tells the story of Pakistani-American teenager, Hayat Shah, Akhtar presents a complex and deeply personal portrayal of what it means to grow up Muslim in America.
In January 2009, several UW-Madison professors visited Senegal, where a Muslim majority and a Christian minority peacefully coexist. The group stopped at Gaston Berger University in Saint Louis where they talked to Senegalese friends about the country’s religious tolerance.
In the first video clip below, three Senegalese professors explain to the UW-Madison group several reasons for the peaceful relations between the country’s religions. First, there is the culture of Teranga or hospitality, a deeply engrained Senegalese value taught at home and in school, said Badara Sall, one of the Senegalese professors who teaches English at the university. When you encounter a person who doesn’t share your religious belief, added Khadidiatou Diallo, another English professor, you don’t see that person as an enemy, but as a brother who at least shares the same culture. Continue reading