Hope College will host two events on Thursday and Friday, March 2-3, aimed at exploring the recent resurgence in Islamophobia in America as well as thoughts for local residents to consider as they shape their own feelings regarding Muslims.

The public is invited.  Admission is free.

There will be a screening and discussion of the documentary “Inside Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think” on Thursday, March 2, at 7 p.m. in Winants Auditorium of Graves Hall.  The discussion will be led by Dr. Nazir Harb Michel, who is a postdoctoral senior research fellow at Georgetown University’s Bridge Initiative on the study of Islamophobia in Washington, D.C.

Harb Michel will deliver the keynote address “”Terrorism, Islamophobia and a Billion Muslims Caught in the Middle: Reflections on Islam in America in a Time of Fear,” followed by a question-and-answer session, on Friday, March 3, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. in room 102 of VanderWerf Hall.  He will analyze important national debates about refugees, immigration, freedom of religion and security, but also more personal struggles related to issues of faith and ethics, and will probe the question, “Can you be a good neighbor to the many Muslims living in and near Holland, or should you be wary?”

The documentary “Inside Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think” explores the opinions of Muslims around the world regarding issues such as gender justice, terrorism and democracy, as reflected by tens of thousands of interviews conducted by Gallup, the preeminent polling organization, with residents in 35 predominantly Muslim nations as well as smaller populations in Europe and the United States.  The 55-minute documentary is from Unity Productions Foundation.

In addition to his position at Georgetown University, Nazir Harb Michel is a Princeton University Public Policy Fellow; a Liechtenstein Institute Politics, Religion and Diplomacy Fellow; and a Truman Scholar, He has a master’s in public affairs from Princeton University and a second master’s in Arab studies from Georgetown University, and holds a Ph.D. from Georgetown University’s Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies.

The events are co-sponsored by Hope College’s Cultural Affairs Committee, Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Department of Religion and Fried Center for Global Engagement.

Graves Hall is located at 263 College Ave., between 10th and 12th streets.  VanderWerf Hall is located at 27 Graves Place, between 10th Street and Graves Place and Central and College avenues.