• Kenneth Crooks, Jr.
    Executive Director Emeritus

  • As times change, what previously was a ‘dialogue about race’ has evolved into a holistic approach to diversity in our community and beyond.

    One Columbus, has also evolved, strengthening its core mission: striving to inspire, motivate, promote diversity, and ensure that each member of the community is respected and valued. Recognizing and appreciating diversity is an obligation to which each of us must be committed. If we accept and act on this challenge, then Columbus will truly become a ‘One Columbus’.

Part II, Middle East, Islam, Sharia and Democracy in the Arab World Today

Part II, Middle East, Islam, Sharia and Democracy in the Arab World Today

Emory law professor to discuss human rights at Columbus Public Library today.

By LARRY GIERER

People want the same things whether they are Christian or Islamic, says Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im.

“They want their human rights protected. They want economic development where they live and financial security for their families,” the Emory University professor of law said Wednesday. “We all have the same struggles.”

An-Na’im, a native of the Sudan who is an internationally recognized scholar of Islam and human rights, will speak tonight at the Columbus Public Library on Macon Road.

The free lecture at 6 p.m. is part of the “Prejudice Reduction Seminars,” which is sponsored by One Columbus. An-Na’im, the author of several books and articles, will discuss people’s differences and distinctive ideas, which he believes are important and should be respected.

He will also talk about the tension in Syria and Egypt.

“We should support anyone who is fighting for democratic rights,” the professor said.

On Emory’s website, An-An’im is quoted as saying: “The divides are not Islam and western society. The divide is between people who have different values. We must promote connections between people who want to contribute to human values. People who share that commitment can collaborate across cultural divides.”

One Columbus is a nonprofit organization formed exclusively for charitable and educational purposes. Its mission is to conduct promotional and educational programs that foster unity and cooperation among the people of Columbus and the surrounding area.

“We are not political. There is no agenda,” said One Columbus Program Manager Rose Espinola. “We are just promoting social harmony.”

She said prejudice is a preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience. By getting more information on a topic, misconceptions can be replaced with a better understanding. She said information can give people, “a new reality, a new picture to confront our stereotypes.”

Espinola is hoping for a large audience. “This is aimed at the general public,” she said. “It should have a lot of great information about the Middle East and human rights.”

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