Parents spend weekend with juniors on campus

first_img Parents and juniors attended college workshops Saturday morning, Connors said. In the workshops, parents learned about what their sons and daughters have studied the past three years. “A lot of families come. It’s like another football weekend,” JPW 2011 chairperson Erin Connors said. “I really wanted to show them was how I spent my time,” she said. “They met all of my friends.” “It’s an exhausting process,” junior Drew Davis said. “But it’s a treat having my parents in town and it was a lot of fun. “I loved the Gala because we got dinner with our family first and you got to see everyone’s parents,” she said. “People would say, ‘You look so much like your mom or your dad.’” Junior Stephanie Ruas went to the Mendoza presentation with her parents. As parents returned home, campus activity settled down once again and juniors prepared for the week ahead. For the past three days, Notre Dame juniors and parents roamed campus to experience events offered by this year’s celebration of the annual Junior Parents Weekend (JPW). Sunday, parents said goodbye at the Closing Brunch where University President Emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh gave a closing benediction. Chuck Lennon, executive director of the Alumni Association, also gave a farewell speech. While activities and academic presentations were major components of the weekend, Ruas said showing her parents how she lived on campus was the most important part. The weekend began Friday evening, Connors said, with an Opening Gala that featured a cash bar, DJ and photographer. Later, juniors and parents emerged from dorms Saturday evening clad in formal attire for the mass and President’s Dinner with University President Fr. John Jenkins. More than 4,000 people attended, Connors said. Fr. Tom Doyle, vice president for Student Affairs, gave a homily accompanied by an opening and closing prayer by University President Emeritus Fr. Edward “Monk” Malloy and Ryan Hall rector Breyan Tornifolio. “I introduced them to once of my professors and then we went off to a breakout group for marketing,” she said.last_img read more

Doctoral program earns accreditation

first_imgThe University’s doctoral program in clinical psychology recently earned accreditation from the American Psychological Association (APA), program director Scott Monroe said. “We’ve transformed from a University without a clinical psychology program to a University with an eminent, and arguably top-10 program,” he said. “This is, in my opinion, an accomplishment of unprecedented proportions.” The program began in 2006, and Monroe estimated that the development of an accredited clinical psychology program has taken at least a decade to plan. “Accreditation by the APA signifies that the clinical program at Notre Dame now adheres to the standards of the APA for doctoral training of graduate students with respect to quality of instruction in the science and practice of clinical [psychology],” Monroe said. Monroe said the APA accreditation gives Notre Dame graduate students an edge over others in their field. “This allows our students to be highly competitive in a major field of psychology and to do research and teaching on topics that are core to the mission of Notre Dame,” he said. The requirements for accreditation are extensive and include specific stipulations regarding coursework, research training and clinical practice, Monroe said. “We apply for accreditation with a document that attest to these achievements,” he said. “It represents quite an extensive and rigorous piece of information regarding our program over the past several years.” David Smith, former director of the program, said this recognition is important for Notre Dame because the APA is the only organization authorized by the Department of Education to accredit psychology programs. “It provides ongoing evaluation and certification of the programs quality,” Smith said. “APA accreditation is the standard by which outside agencies evaluate our graduates.” Smith said the program is designed to produce doctoral students in clinical psychology that will become the next generation of top researchers in the field. A variety of research areas are represented in the program, Smith said. “There is a particular strength in mood disorders,” Smith said. “We have people studying sleep, marriage and relationships, health, stress and biology. There are also other traditional clinical psychology areas covered like eating and personality disorders and child clinical psychology.” The program has hired four nationally recognized clinical psychologists and five assistant professors since 2006, Smith said. “That’s tremendous growth to go along with the accreditation of the program,” Smith said. “I expect it to really flourish in the next few years.”last_img read more

Students to fast in solidarity with Haiti

first_imgWith relief efforts continuing two years after a major earthquake hit Haiti, students can fast from food, Facebook or other luxuries for 24 hours in a show of solidarity with the island nation. The Fast For Haiti, sponsored by Friends of the Orphans (FOTO), started after a 2010 earthquake rocked the Caribbean country, FOTO president Erin Wright said. “It’s a 24-hour fast in solidarity with the Haitian people,” she said. “We started the spring after the earthquake and we’ve done it the past three years because there is still a lot of relief needed.” The fast is not just centered on food. The event begins with an opening prayer service tomorrow at 6 p.m. in the Geddes Hall Chapel and concludes with a Mass on April 4 at 5 p.m. Following Mass, there will be a dinner in the Coleman-Morse lounge for students to break their fast, Wright said. “People don’t have to fast from food,” Wright said. “They can fast from their phone, fast from snacks, basically whatever they feel like they can do.” The purpose of the event is to raise awareness for Haiti’s restoration and money to help the country rebuild, Wright said. Wright said one of the biggest problems Haiti currently faces is controlling the outbreak of disease isn the post-earthquake environment. “Cholera is a problem,” she said. “Rebuilding is a problem.” To assist in development in Haiti, fundraising for the event benefits an orphanage and medical mission, Wright said. “All the money raised will go to Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos Haiti, which is affiliated with St. Luke’s medical mission,” she said. The money sent to Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos (NPH) Haiti will go towards the orphanage and its programs, and funds sent to St. Luke’s medical mission will assist cholera relief, as well as basic medical needs, Wright said. “The first year after the earthquake, the money [sent to the medical mission] was mostly used to help with injuries from that, but now it’s mostly used for cholera relief,” she said. Wright said FOTO is very active in other countries, like Honduras, the club supports nine different orphanages, including the one in Haiti. She said the others helped NPH Haiti following the earthquake. “After the earthquake, each NPH home rallied and all pulled together and were able to create a lot of support for NPH Haiti,” she said. During the 24 hours of the fast, participants will receive reflections and information about the situation in Haiti via e-mail. “[The reflections] are all a little different,” she said. “Some are from people who have been to Haiti. One we’ve used is [from] the director of St. Luke medical mission … We also use different prayers, ideas and thoughts about the event.” To participate in the Fast for Haiti, sign up online at foto.nd.edu.last_img read more

Students embark on spiritual trip

first_imgThis weekend, a group of approximately 50 sophomores from Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s embarked on a figurative and literal spiritual journey to an undisclosed location on Campus Ministry’s signature sophomore retreat, the Sophomore Road Trip. John Paul Lichon, Campus Ministry’s assistant director for retreats, pilgrimages and spirituality, helped coordinate the Sophomore Road Trip. “The Sophomore Road Trip is a wonderful retreat to allow sophomores to take a step back as they begin their sophomore year,” Lichon said. “[Sophomore Road Trip] is really a chance to think about ‘Am I the person I really want to be?’ Our biggest hope is that a retreat is a genuine encounter with God.”      Sophomore theology major Irina Celentano said the trip gave her a better perspective on her own life and the lives of others. “[The trip] gave me the time to step back and become more acutely aware of myself and what things I can change or improve on, but it also showed me how much progress I’ve made,” she said. Celentano said she went on the retreat in order to clarify her own goals and faith and to grow closer with her classmates. “I wanted to know what other people are going through and where they are on their various life journeys. I wanted a better appreciation of other peoples’ stories,” she said. Students do not know where the road trip will end until they actually arrive for the retreat, Lichon said. “It provides a nice analogy for our faith. There are twists and turns and ups and downs, but you get where you need to go,” Lichon said. In addition to enhancing to the intrigue and excitement of the retreat, Lichon said Campus Ministry designed this aspect of the retreat with a certain message in mind. “There’s a sense of mystery behind [Sophomore Road Trip], and some students come to find out what it is all about,” Lichon said. Lichon said the mission statement of the Sophomore Road Trip, written by the junior and senior leaders of the retreat, reads: “Through reflection informed by Holy Cross Spirituality, the University of Notre Dame Sophomore Road Trip provides students with tools to navigate the twists and turns of their vocational journey towards completeness in Christ.” Celentano said the mystery surrounding the destination of the retreat added a sense of unity to the weekend. “There’s something kind of exciting about not knowing where you’re going but still knowing you’re all going there together,” she said. Like all Campus Ministry retreats, Sophomore Road Trip is entirely student-led. Lichon said the team of leaders for this weekend’s Sophomore Road Trip began meeting before students left for summer break last year and continued as soon as the school year began in August. Celentano said the retreat revolved around a series of talks and group discussions but maintained a well-balanced dose of individual prayer, team-building exercises and discernment. “We had a lot of talks from the leaders on vocation and discernment and taking a step back to see where we are in our lives,” Celentano said. There are other opportunities to attend Campus Ministry retreats this year. “If people miss Sophomore Road Trip, they can go on a preached retreat, silent retreat or one of the pilgrimages over breaks,” Lichon said. Registration is now open for the Oct. 4 through 6 Sophomore Road Trip on the Campus Ministry website.last_img read more

Gold Gang adds to game day experience

first_imgOn home game Saturdays, 11 students hide behind mysterious personas and gold spandex, roaming campus to greet Notre Dame fans who seek the perfect photo opportunity.These 11 men make up the Gold Gang, a group currently in its second year on campus. For every home game, they go out in their morph suits to add a memorable element to the game day experience at Notre Dame.Junior Ryan O’Donnell works as a guide for the Gold Gang and speaks for the men behind the gold spandex, whose job requirements include an oath of silence while working.Photo courtesy of Ryan O’Donnell “You’re not allowed to know who they are — it defeats the illusion of the Gold Gang,” O’Donnell said.O’Donnell said the Gold Gang supplements the traditional Notre Dame game day atmosphere so many fans travel across the country to experience.“It’s different, it’s unique and I don’t know how many other schools have this,” O’Donnell said. “I personally like the ‘wow’ factor, like the ‘What is that? Why are there people in gold suits?’ reaction that we get.”According to the Gold Gang’s website, the 11 members represent Notre Dame’s 11 football national championships. The group’s website tells the fantastical backstory of how the Gold Gang came into being after a night at the lab, where Knute Rockne was working on bottling the Notre Dame spirit.“We love our school and we’ll do whatever we can to show you how great Notre Dame is,” O’Donnell said. “It functions similarly to what the cheerleaders and leprechaun do, just to give that greater promotion of the Fighting Irish mentality.”Sophomore Aline Irihamye said her experience with the Gold Gang last year started off as initial curiosity and then ended with a picture that her and her friends look back on (Editor’s note: Aline Irihamye is a news writer for the Observer).“I found out that one of my friends was one of the Gold Gang members, but he wasn’t allowed to tell me while in the morph suit,” Irihamye said. “I just remember one of the Gold Gang people gesturing wildly at me with his hands, and me wondering why he was doing that.”Anonymity is an important element in the Gold Gang group, and on their website each member is listed as a number — each corresponding to a national championship year — rather than a name in order to preserve their element of mystery and intrigue.O’Donnell said one of his favorite memories working as a guide for the Gold Gang came when a little girl who was initially scared of the members eventually warmed up to them and started dancing with them.“Last year we dropped by this tailgate and this little girl screamed like she was afraid,” O’Donnell said. “The next thing I know, they’re all dancing together and having a fun time and they were really sad when we had to go somewhere else.”The Gold Gang frequents hotspots such as LaFortune and Notre Dame Stadium during home games and takes pictures with everyone, whether or not they are cheering for Notre Dame.“If you see us on campus, come take your picture with us because that’s what we’re here for,” O’Donnell said. “Create a lasting memory and put it on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and enjoy your game day and know that we’re here to help you enjoy it even more.”Tags: football, Football Friday Feature, gameday, Gold Ganglast_img read more

Undergraduate Women in Business host annual conference

first_imgThis weekend, Undergraduate Women in Business (UWIB) will be hosting its 8th annual Professional Development Conference titled “Work Like a Girl! Gender in the Business World.” The conference will begin Friday at 5:45 p.m. in Jordan Hall of Science and concludes Saturday afternoon.The weekend will consist of networking opportunities and workshops with companies such as JP Morgan, Deloitte, P&G, PwC and others. Keynote speakers for the conference include Nicole Sherrod, managing director of Ameritrade, and Theresa Sedlack, engagement director of Innovation Park.Sophomore business major Erin Callaghan says she is excited to attend the conference because of the potential to learn more about and speak with the various companies in attendance.“UWIB does a great job of providing opportunities for career exploration and networking,” Callaghan said. “The firms that will be in attendance cater to all majors within the business school and many are attractive places to potentially work.”On SAO’s website, UWIB describes its goal as “to build a stronger sense of community among undergraduate women who aspire to business-related professions through events that highlight the many opportunities that are available to them.”Junior and conference co-chair of UWIB Haley Rosenbach says that the keynote speakers represent women who have had continued success in the business world and are strong professional role models for aspiring businesswomen.“I’m really excited for Nicole Sherrod because she’s a really successful woman in the financial industry and does a great job of balancing the home and work life,” Rosenbach said.Rosenbach went further to explain how the keynote speakers embody two women who prove that a successful career and a family life are not mutually exclusive. She said she hopes conference attendees leave the conference with the notion that women do not have to choose between career and family.“I think that now our generation has been raised to do both [family and career] and not question it and I think that this club and the opportunities it provides are a cool, unique way to foster that idea. It doesn’t have to be a choice between the two,” Rosenbach said.Callaghan said she looks forward to the more relaxed atmosphere for networking that the conference will provide.“I’m looking forward to the breakout and networking sessions that give us an opportunity to meet employers and hear stories about experiences they have had in their professional lives,” Callaghan said. “It is a great way to make the environment more relaxed and genuinely get to know people who have taken the time to come to Notre Dame.”Rosenbach said the conference will provide a more relaxed setting for women in business that will hopefully inspire more questions for the keynote speakers and more discussion.“Since it’s through UWIB, it’s only open to women on campus and I think that creates a really cool dynamic at the conference,” Rosenbach said. “In the business school, the gender ratio is kind of skewed so it creates a really cool unique setting where the girls are more comfortable.”Callaghan said she hopes to walk away inspired by the keynote speakers and better acquainted with employers.“I’m still discerning my career path, as we all are, but I believe this event will help me further develop my professional goals,” she said.Tags: UWIB, UWIB Conferencelast_img read more

The Observer receives ICPA awards

first_imgThe Observer won 18 awards at the 2016 Indiana Collegiate Press Association (ICPA) awards this weekend in Indianapolis, including third place in the Division I Newspaper of the Year category and first place in the special issue category for the March 2, 2015 edition commemorating University President Emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh.The News department, led by current Editor-in-Chief and former News Editor Margaret Hynds, won second place for Best In-Depth Story for Hynds and former Saint Mary’s Editor Haleigh Ehmsen’s coverage of the response to screenings of “The Hunting Ground” at Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s. Hynds also won second place for Best Breaking News Reporting for her coverage of the death of Notre Dame student Lisa Yang. Additionally, the department won third place for its sexual assault series in the Best News or Feature Series category. The Sports department, led by former Sports Editor and current Assistant Managing Editor Zach Klonsinski, took home four awards, including second place in Best Sports Column for former Senior Sports Writer Mike Monaco’s column after the Irish men’s basketball team’s loss to Kentucky in the Elite Eight. Monaco also won third place in the Best Sports News Story category for his wrap of the same game. Additionally, former Editor-in-Chief Greg Hadley won third place for Best Sports Feature for his piece “Huffman seized the moment, pushes Notre Dame to title game.” The department also won second place for Best Sports Page for a page in an Irish Insider titled “Cruise Control.”The Sports department teamed up with the Graphics department to take home second place for Best Pull Out Section for the Irish Insider “Quiet Noise: Will Fuller.”The Graphics department, led by former Graphics Editor Erin Rice, also won first place for Best Special Section or Front Cover for Rice and Kat Robinson’s “Super Human: Jaylon Smith” cover. Additionally, former Photo Editor Zach Llorens and former Graphics Editor Keri O’Mara won third place for Best Special Section Cover for their Bengal Bouts Irish Insider cover. The Scene section, led by Scene Editor Erin McAuliffe, won first place for Best Podcast for their “Scenecast: Deathcast,” created by McAuliffe, former Scene Editor Miko Malabute, Matt McMahon, Matt Munhall and Adam Ramos. McMahon also won third place in the Best Entertainment Column category for his piece “Is it time to give The Shaggs another listen?”The Viewpoint section won third place for Best Opinion Column for Billy McMahon’s piece “Practically Pro-Life.”Former Online Editor Michael Yu, former Assistant Managing Editor Kevin Song and Llorens won second place for Best Special Presentation Online for the Hesburgh memorial website. The 2015-2016 Editorial Board won first place for Best Editorial for its piece on sexual assault, “We’re mad as hell.”The Observer also took home first place for Best Blog for the study abroad blog, and third place for Best Themed Issue for the 2015 Commencement issue. Tags: ICPAlast_img read more

Student senate learns of bookstore renovations

first_imgDavid Werda, the director of Hammes Bookstore and retail operations, spoke to student senate Wednesday evening about future changes to the campus bookstore.“We’ve developed a list of goals and objectives over the last couple of years in terms of the new vision for your campus bookstore,” he said.Werda said the importance of the bookstore cannot be overstated, considering Notre Dame is the second most visited tourist attraction in the state of Indiana.“You can think of the Notre Dame bookstore as that tourist attraction’s gift shop, and it reflects that on an annual basis in terms of foot traffic and revenue,” he said.The challenge is to design the bookstore to cater to both the enormous crowds on football weekends and students on the average school day, Werda said.“What we’re looking to do is to create a space that serves both those guests who visit on an annual basis, but equally important, the students, the faculty and the administration of the University,” he said. “We need to create spaces within the bookstore that are not interrupted on those six or seven weekends a year during football season.”Werda said in response to the concern that the bookstore focuses too much on the tourists and sets “an unwelcoming presence for the campus community” that the bookstore’s new design will feature more academic and social spaces for students.“We want to create a space that is more interactive,” he said. “Having places where you can sit and study, where you can come and study in small groups.”In addition, the bookstore will be reorganized to adjust to the changing times, Werda said.“We’re taking our general reading books, those stacks and stacks of books where ten years ago it was important to have a library of books for people to browse, and moving them upstairs,” he said. “In terms of ‘I’m going to go in and buy a New York Times bestseller,’ that’s not how this business is going anymore.”Further, Werda said women’s apparel, a growing market for the bookstore, will expand and occupy more wall space on the second floor, and gifts will move downstairs. Religious gifts, one of the bookstore’s most unique draws, will remain front and center, he said.“The religious section is very much the soul of the bookstore,” he said. “There are very few places, if any in this day and age, where you can buy most of the religious things that we sell.”During the session, Werda received student input and feedback regarding the bookstore’s renovation. Claire Saltzman, the Ryan Hall senator, requested an earlier opening for the Einstein Brothers Bagels location in the bookstore.“For 8 a.m. exams and 8:20 classes, the 8 a.m. opening time does not give students enough time,” Saltzman said.Christian Femrite, the Morrissey Manor senator, asked for lower prices on everyday items, such as toiletries.“I understand the bookstore has the Notre Dame logo on everything, but for the stuff students come in to use, I think it would be more appropriate to have lower prices,” he said.Werda said the goal is for the renovation to start after reunion weekend and be completed when students return in August.Tags: Bookstore, ND student senate, Tourismlast_img read more

Bellacappella to perform end of the year concert

first_imgThe members of Bellacappella, the Saint Mary’s a cappella group, are preparing to say goodbye to the graduating seniors with their annual spring concert Friday. The concert, titled “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” will feature all 11 members of the group singing and dancing to a variety of songs.First year Bellacappella member Annie B. Zingalis said the setlist this year focuses on songs about female strength and empowerment, while fellow Bellacappella member and senior Lauren Zyber said the songs allow for a fun, high-energy concert.“It’s an energetic concert,” Zyber said. “It’s not a very long concert, but the songs we have this semester are super fun. The audience will enjoy it, and we’ll have fun singing.”According to Zyber and Zingalis, the setlist includes “All the Small Things,” “Quiet” and “Rise Up.” The group also plans on performing a mashup of the songs “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.”As per tradition, the group will also sing “The Bells of Saint Mary’s” as a tribute to the College. For the group, junior Mackenzie Griffin said singing this song can be an emotional moment.“This will sound cheesy, but I always look forward to ‘The Bells of Saint Mary’s,’” she said. “We sway and hold hands together.”The hardest part of the spring concert is saying goodbye to the seniors, Griffin said. This year, there are three Bellacappella seniors graduating.“It’s really bittersweet,” she said. “We’re saying goodbye to the seniors. It’s our last hurrah, but seeing what we’ve done with them past two or three years is exciting.”Zyber said the a cappella group becomes like a second family, and that it is tough for her to say goodbye. She said what she will miss most after graduation is singing with people she loves.“I’ll miss the relationships,” Zyber said. “Singing has a very connecting power. We have to listen to each other and think about balance and how we blend. It can be vulnerable. We become really close with each other. It’s a deep bond.”Zingalis agrees, and said the seniors have become like sisters to her.Though the time commitment is heavy, Griffin said the group enjoyed putting in a lot of work to make their spring concert a memorable one. Throughout the year the group performs at fun events and tailgates, she said, but the end of the year concert is the most rewarding event. Zingalis said the time commitment of multiple hours of practice a week is worth it.“It’s a big time commitment, but it’s fun,” she said. “It’s stress-relieving. It’s a good break from hard academics. It takes time, but it’s a good use of time.”Griffin said the group hopes their bond translates from practice to the stage, and they are excited for their friends and family to see all the hard work they’ve done this year.“We have a group of people who are always willing to turn to each other,” she said. “We’re super supportive. Even when somebody messes up, we tell each other we did great.”The concert is Friday at 7 p.m. in Carroll Auditorium. Tickets are $3, and the money will go toward funding Bellacappella events next year.Tags: a cappella, Bellacapella, Concertlast_img read more

Lecture explores religious freedom in Islam

first_imgMustafa Akyol, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity and a self-described “Islamic modernist,” gave a lecture titled “Religious Freedom in Islam” on Tuesday at the Eck Visitors Center, during which he promoted religious tolerance throughout the world.Akyol began the lecture by retelling a recent incident between him and the Malaysian religious police following a lecture he gave on apostasy in the country. Following his lecture on religious freedom, Akyol said, he was placed in front of a Sharia court for reciting the Quran without a permit, and was only released because of connections between his father, the Turkish former president and the Malaysian monarchy.The irony of this story provided a basis from which Akyol spoke on the need for more religious toleration in the Muslim world. Though many Westerners may feel that Islam is medieval and incongruent with toleration, Akyol said, there are many precedents for religious tolerance in its history.“Islam has strong assets for religious freedom,” he said. “But also we have issues in Islam that we have to deal with and we have to reinterpret. … Muslims are proud to say at a time when in medieval Spain … the Catholics at the time were not very liberal … at that time in the Islamic world because it accepted the rights of Jews and Christians to remain as Jews and Christians — it was more liberal.”Though this precedent exists, Akyol said the toleration was contingent on the religious minorities’ willingness to accept inferiority.“This toleration — and toleration is the right word — was not based on equality,” he said. “Muslims made sure that they were the ruling, supreme nation. Jews and Christians are tolerated, but as inferior. And this has some clear expressions, one of them was that Jews and Christians were forced to pay an extra tax. … They could not serve in the military and in the state, so the state belonged to Muslims.”Since this point in history, however, Akyol said the Islamic world has begun to fall behind the development of human rights.“In the face of this modern development [of human rights] … there is a friction today still between modern definition of human rights and Islamic authorities and Islamic interpretations,” he said.Akyol said change is happening, but such massive change does not occur overnight.“Now, are there Muslims trying to deal with this issue and offer this reformation? Yes,” he said. “There are Muslim rulers, intellectuals, institutions, countries — this is a thing that’s been going on for more than a century. It began in the 19th century, it’s still going on, the battle is still going on. Let me tell you, it’s not that easy and fast to change a culture and civilization.”Akyol offered a suggestion to begin encouraging this change.“One way to bring human rights … is to minimize the role of Islamic law and bring secular laws that will establish equality,” he said. “And this has been tried, and it’s worked.”Akyol pointed to the example of Turkey following World War I as an example of how secularization of laws can help modernize societies. Akyol also said the most permanent solution to advancing religious toleration is reinterpreting Sharia and the Quran altogether.“Another approach is to reinterpret Sharia, and that’s what I’m interested in because once you push the religious convictions aside for secular institutions, they’re still there,” he said. “They will want to come back, and there will be a tension between them and the secular space.”The best way to go about reinterpreting the Quran is through historicism, which focuses on divine intent in the context of the work’s initial production, Akyol said.“God spoke not in a vacuum, he spoke in a context, in a society that had a culture,” he said. “Therefore, when you look at the Quran, you should look at the divine intent and you should bring it to today with the impact but not the social context.”Whereas the West views many Middle Eastern countries as medieval, Akyol said, Middle Eastern countries view the West as exploitative and hypocritical. He said the best way for Western countries to promote secularization in Middle Eastern countries is to remain principled and set an example through their actions.“If the West wants to help in advancing human rights … they can do one thing and that is to be principled,” he said. “Do not use these concepts for colonial design, do not use these concepts sometimes only to advance the rights of your own people, do not use these concepts to bash the regimes that are your enemies, but then, when the same [violations of human rights] are committed by the regimes that are your allies, don’t look the other way.”Tags: Freedom of religion, Islam, Islamic law, religious freedom, secularization, Sharia lawlast_img read more