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Source: Melissa Linenberger, 785-532-4392, mwaso@k-state.edu
News release prepared by: Emily Vietti, 785-532-2535, evietti@k-state.edu

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM, CIVIL RIGHTS OF MUSLIMS FOCUS OF UPCOMING DOROTHY L. THOMPSON LECTURE

MANHATTAN -- A recent poll conducted by Cornell University researchers concluded that nearly half of all Americans believe that the civil rights of Muslims living in the U.S., whether citizens or not, should be restricted. Ali Khan is hoping to change such beliefs.

Ali Khan, internationally recognized expert in Islamic law and professor of law at Washburn University, will deliver Kansas State University's spring Dorothy L. Thompson Civil Rights Lecture at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 15, in Forum Hall at the K-State Student Union. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Khan will discuss the obstacles currently confronting American Muslims as they seek to freely practice their religion. Evidence of these obstacles includes lawsuits currently pending in federal court, such as a recent class action lawsuit alleging that FBI agents are violating Muslims' freedom of religion by secretly infiltrating U.S. mosques and randomly targeting Muslim worshippers for clandestine surveillance.

Khan also will talk about the perception that Muslims threaten our national security and the threat that this perception poses to the religious freedom and cultural identity of American Muslims.

The Dorothy L. Thompson Lecture Series was established in recognition of Thompson's contributions to the field of human rights on campuses throughout Kansas and the nation. Thompson was associated with K-State from 1971 until her death in 1992. She served as K-State's director of affirmative action and as associate university attorney.