Rob Asghar visits Alvernia

BY: Leah Della Croce, Alvernia University Freshman

Pakistani-American political writer Rob Asghar visited Alvernia on Tuesday, February 16 to speak about what he described as the “Muslim American experience,” and to offer some insight into the steadily increasing tension between the Muslim people and other religions.
Asghar was born in San Jose, California to Pakistani-American parents of Muslim faith. He considers himself to have been devoutly Muslim as well, until around the age of 14. Since then, Asghar has explored various religions, which has provided him with a broader understanding and respect for all religious beliefs and ethnicities.
Currently an LA native, Asghar has published political and cultural essays and articles in various newspapers worldwide. He is also a published author. One of his most recent endeavors includes the publishing of Lessons from the Holy Wars: A Pakistani American Odyssey in 2010.
Asghar expressed that his goal for speaking at Alvernia was to offer reflections on the experience of Muslim people, particularly Pakistani Muslims, in the United States. He also gave examples from his own personal experiences, both in the United States, and in visits to Middle Eastern nations. During the event, Asghar discussed the Muslim faith, and how various interpretations it, such as that of the Taliban, differ from the traditional Muslim beliefs and values.
The ultimate message students took away from Asghar’s presentation was that of respect and tolerance for diversity; through discussing his own personal experiences, from both cultural and religious perspectives, he demonstrated that acceptance and appreciation of diversity is what separates this country from the rest.

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