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Participants for June 16, 2003 Program on Islam and Democracy

Alexander Kronemer
Abdulwahab Alkebsi
Hillel Fradkin
Maysam J. al Faruqi

Alexander Kronemer
Alexander Kronemer is a frequent writer and lecturer on religious diversity, Islamic awareness, and cross-cultural communication. He has published essays in numerous newspapers and journals, including the Christian Science Monitor, the Los Angeles Times, the San Jose Mercury News and The Washington Post. His articles have been included in several book anthologies, including “What Would Muhammad Say About Terrorism,” in the September 11 memorial book, Up From the Ashes, and “Islam and Democracy” in Taking Back Islam. He has received numerous writing awards, among them a 2000 grant from the Montgomery County Commission on the Humanities and a 1989 Halberstam Writing Fellowship.

As a lecturer, he has delivered talks on religious diversity and Islam for the World Affairs Council in Washington, DC, the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, numerous colleges and universities, including Northeastern, Penn State, and Harvard University, and for private corporations, including Nike, Aetna, and Walt Disney World. He has appeared as a CNN commentator on several occasions, including during CNN’s historic live coverage of the Hajj in 1998, which was broadcast to 400 million viewers. He has also been heard in many radio interviews, such as National Public Radio and the Voice of America.

He is the co-founder of Unity Productions Foundation and creator and co-producer of the popular PBS documentary Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet. The program received a national broadcast on December 18, 2002, and received funding from the Corporation of Public Broadcasting; the David and Lucille Packard Foundation; and more than 2,000 other individual, business, and institutional donors.

In 2000, Mr. Kronemer served a one-year appointment at the Bureau of Human Rights in the U.S. State Department focusing on U.S. foreign policy and Islam. During that year, he also served as a delegate to the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva, Switzerland.

Abdulwahab Alkebsi
Dr. Alkebsi currently serves as the Executive Director at the Center for the Study of Islam & Democracy (CSID), a nonprofit think tank, based in Washington DC, dedicated to studying Islamic and democratic political thought and merging them into a modern Islamic democratic discourse. 

Prior to his appointment at CSID, Mr. Alkebsi served as Executive Director of the Islamic Institute and as Deputy Director of the American Muslim Council (AMC). He developed AMC’s Legislative Agenda, and AMC’s policy position on the Faith-based Initiative. Prior to that, Mr. Alkebsi was the Executive Director of the American Muslim Association for Democracy. Mr. Alkebsi also co-established and served as Deputy Director at the American Task Force for Bosnia in 1994. 

Mr. Alkebsi has lectured at universities and seminars in cities around the United States and the Middle East. His contributions have been published by the Brookings Institution, the American Assembly, Hamline University School of Law, and others. 

Mr. Alkebsi has made several appearances on American, European, and Middle Eastern media. He has been interviewed or quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, U.S. News & World Report, United Press International, PBS, CNN, CNBC, BBC, Al-Jazeera, MBC, Abu Dhabi TV, ANA, Nile TV, and many others. 

Mr. Alkebsi was born in Yemen, and resides in Potomac, Maryland, with his wife and three daughters.

Hillel Fradkin
Hillel Fradkin is President of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, a research institute located in Washington, DC. Dr. Fradkin earned his degree in Islamic History and Thought from the University of Chicago, working under the direction of the late Dr. Fazlur Rahman. He has a BA in Government from Cornell University.

Before joining the Ethics and Public Policy Center, Fradkin was the W.H. Brady, Jr. Fellow in Politics and Culture at the American Enterprise Institute. Before that he taught at the University of Chicago as a member of the Committee on Social Thought. He has also taught at Columbia, Yale, and Georgetown Universities and was the assistant director of the Project on Islamic Thought at the University of Maryland. He was a member of the Council of the National Endowment for the Humanities under Lynne Cheney and on the advisory committee on International Education of the U.S. Department of Education. He served in the U.S. Army from 1969-1972, the latter part as an airborne-qualified Hebrew and Arabic translator attached to the 5th Special Forces.

His many articles cover a variety of subjects in Islamic and Jewish studies, contemporary politics, and the issue of religion in modern political life. He has lectured widely both in the United States and abroad.

Maysam J. al Faruqi
Maysam J. al Faruqi was educated in Lebanon (B.A. in Economics from the American University of Beirut and B.A. in Anthropology from St. Joseph University) and in the United States (M.A. in Religious Studies and Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from Temple University, Philadelphia). Her fields of concentration are Qur’anic Studies, Islamic law, and Islamic
Economics. She currently teaches Islamic Studies at Georgetown University. Her most recent publication is on women and Islamic law in Windows of Faith, published by Syracuse Press. She has worked as an adviser with various non-governmental organizations dealing in or with the Muslim world to develop policies more in tune with Islamic culture and religion, and she has co-founded the Georgetown Study Project that deals with women’s rights in Islamic law. As their representative, she has participated in both the Copenhagen UN Development Summit and the Beijing Summit on Women in 1995.


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