A scholar of Islam will connect the teachings of Martin Luther King Jr. to today’s domestic and international challenges in a free presentation  at California Lutheran University.

 Omid Safi, a professor of Islamic Studies at Duke University, will discuss “The Unfinished Dream of Martin Luther King Jr.: America, Muslims and the Age of Empire” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27, in Nygreen Hall 1 on the Thousand Oaks campus.

 Safi will reflect on what King might say today in regard to the wars being waged, ISIL and the work of Black Lives Matter activists in the United States. He will apply King’s teachings to contemporary life in the United States and the country’s involvement in the Middle East and other regions where Islam is the dominant religion. The expert in contemporary Islamic thought and spirituality will incorporate Muslim and Christian prophetic traditions of concern for the poor and humble among God’s children.

The director of Duke’s Islamic Studies Center, Safi has been quoted frequently in media including the New York Times, Newsweek, the Washington Post, PBS, NPR, NBC, BBC and CNN. 

Safi is the chair for the Islamic Mysticism Group at the American Academy of Religion. As the editor of the 2003 essay compilation “Progressive Muslims: On Justice, Gender, and Pluralism,” he offered an understanding of Islam rooted in social justice, gender equality and religious and ethnic pluralism. He also helped edit one volume of “Voices of Islam: Voices of Change” and wrote “Politics of Knowledge in Premodern Islam: Negotiating Ideology and Religious Inquiry” and “Memories of Muhammad: Why the Prophet Matters.”

Cal Lutheran’s Religion Department, Campus Diversity Initiative, Center for Equality and Justice, Segerhammar Center for Faith and Culture, Office of Congregational Relations and College of Arts and Sciences are sponsoring the free event.

Nygreen Hall is located at 130 Memorial Parkway. Parking is available in the lots at the corner of Olsen Road and Mountclef Boulevard.

For more information, contact Rose Aslan at raslan@callutheran.edu and 805-493-3236.