Campus & Community

“Islamophobia” panel discussion at PBSC March 30 aims to promote peace

Prominent Muslim leaders in Palm Beach County will participate in a panel discussion at Palm Beach State College March 30 to help raise awareness of the true teachings of their faith and address the stigma surrounding individuals with Middle Eastern cultural backgrounds.

Titled “Islamophobia: Voices from the Muslim Community,” the discussion will be held from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Meldon Lecture Hall at the Palm Beach Gardens campus, 3160 PGA Blvd. It is free and open to the public.

The panelists are: Imam Abdul Hakim, spiritual leader of the Muslim Community of Palm Beach County, Maha A. Elkolalli, family law and civil rights attorney; Wilfredo Ruiz, communications director and former civil rights legal counsel for the Council on American-Islamic Relations; Dr. Bassem Alhalabi, a professor of computer engineering at Florida Atlantic University and advisor of the Muslim Student Association, and Deema Gichi, a library assistant at PBSC and FAU engineering student.

The event is being held as part of the “Hot Topics” series launched at the Palm Beach Gardens campus in fall 2014 to start dialogues about important social issues.

Dr. Edward Cascio, a psychology professor who serves on the seven-member Hot Topics committee, which includes faculty, staff and a student, said the goal of this event is to promote peace, harmony and understanding. Previous topics have included inequities in the justice system and domestic violence.

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