Human-rights lawyer Arsalan Iftikhar will speak at UNCA Monday, March 19


Arsalan Iftikhar, the human rights lawyer and Islamic pacifist who has become a leading international commentator, will speak at 7 p.m. Monday, March 19 in UNC Asheville’s Humanities Lecture Hall.

Combining what he calls an “unabashed platform of peace,” an “unabashed love of Islam,” and expertise in law and world affairs, Iftikhar has been a frequent commentator in the media. His interviews, commentaries and analyses appeared on: CNN, BBC World News, The TODAY Show, National Public Radio, FOX News Channel, MSNBC, Associated Press, C-SPAN, Voice of America, Agence France-Presse, USA TODAY, NBC Nightly News, The Washington Post, ABC World News Tonight, Los Angeles Times, CBS News Up to the Minute, The New York Times, Rolling Stone, TIME, The Economist, Newsweek magazine, and many other outlets around the world.

Iftihar was also a participant in the BBC’s “The Doha Debates,” which have also featured Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former President Bill Clinton. He is the author of “Islamic Pacifism: Global Muslims in the Post-Osama Era” (CreateSpace, 2011), and is a contributing editor for Islamica magazine.

Arsalan earned a doctorate from Washington University School of Law. A native of Chicago, he specializes in international human rights law and is licensed to practice law in Washington, D.C.

On his website,, Iftikhar describes himself this way: “I love reading the Quran and I love listening to Nirvana … I have performed the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca and have also been a ball-boy for my hometown Chicago Bulls.”

In his lecture at UNC Asheville, Iftikhar’s topics will include the future of the Arab Spring, Muslims in a post-9/11 America, the future of Islam and the West, and the history of Islamophobia. At 5 p.m. before the lecture, there will be a discussion with Iftikhar in Highsmith University Union’s Intercultural Center. Both the discussion and the lecture are free and open to the public.

This event is co-sponsored by many UNC Asheville offices, programs and student organizations, including the Muslim Student Association, Student Activities and Integrative Learning, Office of the Provost, the Office of Student Affairs, the Intercultural Center, Campus Recreation, Campus Life, and Cultural Events and Special Academic Programs. For more information, please visit or call 828/251-6991.


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