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Media Advisory

Experts to discuss U.S. foreign policy

20 August 2007

ATTENTION: Political and higher education reporters

Contact: Janet Gilmore
(510) 642-5685

"Islam, Global Politics, and U.S. Foreign Policy," a panel discussion sponsored by the University of California, Berkeley's Institute of International Studies and Institute of Governmental Studies that will address such issues as the split between the Sunnis and the Shias in the Middle East and its impact on global politics.

This forum kicks off a series of panel discussions during the 2007-08 school year that will examine critical issues facing voters and candidates in the upcoming U.S presidential election.

For more information on this week's forum go to: http://globetrotter.berkeley.edu/SpecialEvents/2007/Issues_Islam.html

Wednesday, Aug. 29, 4 p.m.

Booth Auditorium, UC Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall)

Panelists will include these experts:
Fawaz A. Gerges, professor of international affairs and Middle East studies, Sarah Lawrence College. His books include "The Far Enemy: Why Islam Went Global" (2005), which has broadened understanding of the ideology of Al Qaeda, and "The Journey of a Jihadist: Inside Muslim Militancy" (2007). Gerges has written extensively on debates among the Sunni Jihadists.

Ira Lapidus, emeritus professor of history, UC Berkeley. His books include "A History of Islamic Societies" (2nd edition, 2002) and "Contemporary Islamic Movements in Historical Perspective" (1983). He will discuss Islam and state power in a historical and comparative context.

Darius Zahedi, lecturer, International and Area Studies, UC Berkeley.
He is the author of the book "The Iranian Revolution Then and Now: Indicators of Regime Instability" (2000) and editor of the book "Iran in the New Millennium: Opportunities and Challenges (2001). Zahedi is an expert on the divisions among the Shia and the role of the Iranian state in the Shia revival.

For more information, contact Ethan Rarick at the Institute of Governmental Studies at (510) 642-5158 or erarick@berkeley.edu or contact Harry Kreisler at the Institute of International Studies at (510) 642-1106 or kreisler@berkeley.edu.