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Posted on Wed, Nov 10, 2010 : 1:34 p.m.

"American Sons" panel discussion on being Muslim in America at library and U of M cultural exchange

By Frances Kai-Hwa Wang

This Wednesday, Nov. 10, from 7 to 8:30 p.m., the Ann Arbor District Library, the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice and the U of M Muslim Students Association will be co-sponsoring a panel discussion “American Sons: Reflections on Being Muslim in America” at the downtown branch of the Ann Arbor District Library.

Dr. Sherman Jackson, the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Near Eastern Studies, Visiting Professor of Law and Professor of Afro-American Studies at the University of Michigan, will moderate the discussion with four Michigan Muslim men who will discuss being Muslim in America from their own experiences and local perspectives. The panelists include Ann Arbor resident, teacher and administrator Khidr Naeem; UM graduate and film producer Chris Abdur-Rahman Blauvelt; local attorney Haaris Ahmad; and local doctor Hasan Shanawani.

From an Ann Arbor District Library statement: “Discussion will center on the diversity of our community, how Muslims deal with the issues of multiculturalism and several tensions and barriers that exist in tackling this issue from within both the Muslim and the broader community.”

The downtown branch of the Ann Arbor District Library is located at 343 S. Fifth Ave., Ann Arbor.

The U of M Muslim Students Association is linking this panel discussion to a three-day cultural exchange called “A Walk in My Shoes” where U of M students can meet, shadow, and attend a prayer service with a Muslim U of M student to learn more about each others’ lives.

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang is a second-generation Chinese American from California who now divides her time between Ann Arbor and the Big Island of Hawaii. She is editor of Asian American Village, lead multicultural contributor for and a contributor for New America Media's Ethnoblog. She is a popular speaker on Asian Pacific American and multicultural issues. Check out her website at, her blog at, and she can be reached at