Titled, “Middle East Dialogue,” the forum will give equal time for each speaker to argue their viewpoints without interruption.
Alexandra Bain, professor of Islamic studies at STU, was compelled to push for the debate after the heated arguments that erupted during the lecture with Yosi Olmert last week.
“It’s not an us or them issue,” she said. “These are complex and very different viewpoints, and they’re each important enough that they need to be heard.”
The speakers will be Samira Farhoud, UNB professor of Arabic studies, UNB law professor Tom Kuttner who has an undergrad in Jewish studies and a masters in Islamic studies, Dr. Robin Vose, Dr. Jack Gegenberg, Arnold Chippin of the Fredericton Jewish Community, and Naveed Majid fo the Fredericton Islamic Association.
Each panelist will be given 10 minutes to make their case. The last half hour will be devoted to questions, where audience comments and queries can be submitted in writing.
Bain said she hopes these measures will offer balance and respectful debate from all who participate. But an equal factor in that success will be the refreshments provided afterwards.
“It’s important no matter how much you disagree, everyone deserves to state their concerns in an environment where they’ll be listened to, and where they can sit down afterwards to break bread.”