Center Hosts Visitors from Canada, Italy, Pakistan, Africa, Serbia, and Jordan – 2011

28 January.  Four representatives of the International Visitor Leadership Program of Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy (UCCD) program, Promoting Moderate Voices, a Project for Canada, visited the Center. The visitors were in the United States to discuss ways to promote interfaith dialogue and moderate discussion of religious differences; learn how federal, state, and local government agencies counter religious and idealogical extremism and promote diversity; explore best practices in integrating immigrants and Muslim groups into Western society; and meet with government, religious, and non-profit leaders that assist with promoting religious and cultural diversity,

31 January.  In an event sponsored by the International Center for Law and Religion Studies (ICLRS) of the J. Reuben Clark Law School, Professor Silvio Ferrari spoke at Brigham Young University on the topic “Religion and the Public/Private Divide in the European Legal Systems.” Professor Ferrari is Professor of Canon Law at the University of Milan and Professor of Church-State Relations at the University of Leuven in Belgium. He is director of the Istituto Ecclesiastico at the University of Milan, is the founder and president of the International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (ICLARS), and is a member of the ICLRS Academic Advisory Board.

22 February.  Dr. Qibla Ayaz, Director, Institute of Islamic and Arabic Studies, University of Peshawar, Pakistan, visited the Center. As a professor of Islamic and Seeratt Studies, Dr. Ayaz participated in a 2004 International Visitor Leadership Program on “Religious Diversity in the United States.” Upon return to Pakistan, he worked with colleagues to implement an interfaith curriculum at the University of Peshawar, which in turn led to the establishment of a campus-based interfaith center.

29 April.  The Center particpated in hosting fourteen UCCD visitors from Africa, who came to examine “Religious Tolerance and Interfaith Dialogue in the United States.” Center personnel enjoyed a mutually informative discussion on these issues with the visitors, most of them educators and government officials from French-speaking African nations: Abbo Ahmadou, Don Yves Kisukulu, Mohamed Douhour Hersi , Antonio Serifo Embalo, Memunah Anatu Sheriff, Moses Mkandawire, Elhadj Mamadou Traore, Mme Issa Kadidiatou, Kadidiatou Boubacar Mamane, Sanoussi Tondi Abdou, Stephen Sunday Enada, Serigne Seye, Zaria Said Dunia, and S. Faith Mathe.

17 May.  ICLRS personnel assisted in hosting visitors to BYU Campus from Serbia, here as part of the UCCD program to explore “The Role of Religion and Social Issues in the United States.”  Center leaders Bob Smith, Brett Scharffs, Gary Doxey, and David Kirkham joined Law School Professor Fred Gedicks and other scholars from across campus to welcome Mr. Adnan Ahmedi, Head, Council of the Islamic Community, Presevo; Mr. Isak Asiel, Supreme Rabbi, Federation of Jewish Communities in Serbia; Mr. Drasko Denovic, Member, Church of Christ, Belgrade; Mr. Muhamed Jusufspahic, Mufti, Islamic Community of Serbia; Mr. Aleksandar Sekulic, Secretary, Office of His Holiness Patriarch Irinej, Serbian Orthodox Church, Belgrade; Mr. Gordon Matic, English Language Officer; and Mr. Fedja Zimic, Escort Interpreter.

30 June.  Center personnel Robert Smith, Gary Doxey, and David Kirkham made a presentation to six visiting Shari’a judges from Jordan, participants in the UCCD-sponsored program, “Legal Issues and U.S. Family Courts.” The judges specifically requested the visit to the Center, and were interested in discussing the role of religion and law in Utah and the United States, specifically to hear of instances where family courts weigh considerations of religious belief and practice.