The Madison-Rafah Sister City Project

February 6, 2017
Fighting Islamophobia

A Panel Discussion by the UW-Madison Middle East Studies Program and the Center for the Humanities

Institute for Discovery, DeLuca Forum
University of Wisconsin – Madison
330 N. Orchard Street, Madison WI 53715
4:00-6:00 pm

Islamophobia is increasingly rising to the front of national attention, whether through politicians, presidential campaign rhetoric, newspaper headlines, or tweets. In a time when Islam is the subject of much discussion and controversy, the Middle East Studies Program and the Center for the Humanities at UW-Madison invites you to a unique panel discussion tackling causes, manifestations, dangers of Islamophobia, constitutional rights and protections offered by federal civil rights/hate crimes statutes. An intersectional approach will be taken to explore how Islamophobic violence impacts not only Muslims, but every American who cares about freedom and democracy. Islamophobia mirrors other types of oppression and exclusion that create walls and barriers among people. The panel hopes to enable an ongoing open dialogue, in a safe environment for debate through education, participation and engagement.
Panelists include: 

    John W. Vaudreuil. As US Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, Vaudreuil leads an office committed to the fair and equal enforcement of federal law, including civil rights laws, both in civil and criminal cases.  His office has aggressively pursued civil housing discrimination cases and cases involving violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. As the chief federal law enforcement officer, Vaudreuil has also tirelessly worked to build relationships of trust and understanding with communities that might be targets of civil rights crimes.
    Nasra Wehelie, “Remedy for Islamophobia.” Nasra is the Development Director for Madison-Area Urban Ministry.
    Safi Kaskas, “Fighting Islamophobia, a holistic approach.” Safi has studied Abrahamic religions and lectured throughout the US and Saudi Arabia on subjects related to Islam, interfaith and reconciliation between Evangelicals and American Muslims. Dr. Kaskas translated and published the Qur’an into simple easy to understand English in January 2015 and published The Qur’an with references to the Bible in January 2016. 
    Imam Alhagie Jallow became the Imam of the Masjid Us-Sunnah shortly after his visit to Madison in 2009. 

    Golnar Nikpour, “The Iran Hostage Crisis and the Recent History of American Islamophobia.” A.W. Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities and Humanistic Social Sciences at UW-Madison.

For more information, please contact the Middle East Studies Director, Nevine El-Nossery, elnossery [at]