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Tuesday, January 05, 2010.

Experts to discuss religious terrorism at Jan. 12 AVC presentation

Two experts in religious terrorism will discuss "The Roots of Religious Terrorism" during a 6:30 p.m., Jan. 12 seminar at Antelope Valley College's Board Room, SSV 151, 3041 W. Ave. K, Lancaster.

Dr. Amir Hussain, professor of theological studies at Loyola Marymount University, and author and radio host Jonathan Kirsch will serve as presenters during the program, which will explore the roots of religious terrorism from early Christian Europe and Inquisition through modern day Jihadists.

Amir Hussain
Amir Hussain

The seminar is free and open to the public.

Kirsch has written 13 books, including "A History of the End of the World," "God Against the Gods," and "The Grand Inquisitor's Manual," all of which address the origins of religious violence in Western tradition. Also, Kirsch is one of the hosts of "The Politics of Culture" on National Public Radio affiliate KCRW.

Hussain is a Canadian Muslim who is a specialist in the study of Muslim communities. In 2007, he gave a keynote speech at the Chautauqua Institution in New York as part of a conference on security and preparedness where his co-presenters included the head of the 9/11 commission, the Governor of New York and retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

Kirsch will trace Jewish and Christian origins of terrorism, while Hussain discuss Islam and its role.

Both men are Fellows of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities, located at the University of Southern California. The Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities was founded in 1998 to create an intellectual center to bring together people from various walks of life to stimulate a cross-disciplinary exchange of ideas.