Islam & West, next AHEC Provocative Topic

By Public Affairs Staff    31 January 2020

Dr. John O. Voll, Georgetown University Professor Emeritus of Islamic History, will speak about 'Islam and the West: allies and enemies in history' on Feb. 10 at 6: 30 p.m. at US Army Heritage & Education Center.

On Feb. 10 at 6:30 p.m., Dr. John Voll of Georgetown University will address the history of Muslim-Christian alliances and conflicts in the modern era. Voll's presentation is part of the USAHEC 4-part examination of the challenges associated with changing societal interpretations of history.

Theme 2, ‘Historical underpinnings of conflict between Islam and the West’ will present two views of historic events that shaped current events. Each speaker’s presentation will be followed by a professional dialogue, moderated by a USAWC historian, about understanding and evaluating differing perspectives and potentially opposing opinions.

For Theme 2, in Session A, Professor of Islamic History Dr. John O. Voll will explore the nature of relationships throughout history between Islam and the West. Voll is Professor Emeritus of Islamic History and past Associate Director of the Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. The lecture is scheduled for Monday, February 10 at 6:30 p.m. at the Army Heritage and Education Center, 950 Soldiers Drive, Carlisle PA 17013.

In contrast with the well-known story of Muslim-Christian military conflict, less well-known is the long history of Muslim-Christian alliances and cooperation, even in times of conflict. Voll will address risk of misunderstanding when the history of clashes between Islam and the West is viewed in broad generalizations. Voll will focus his discussion on alliances and conflicts in the modern era, to include the history of the Anglo-Egyptian relationship, and the enemy-ally transitions of the Sanusiyyah and the Angle-American powers of World War II and the Cold War.

This lecture-and-discussion event is the third in the “Controversies in Military History Lecture Series.”This series provides an educational forum for audiences to evaluate differing perspectives and will encourage open, professional dialogue on potentially opposing opinions. Lecture speakers do not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of the USAHEC, the U.S. Army War College, or the U.S. Army.

Theme 2, ‘Historical underpinnings of Islam-West conflict’ - Session B

In Session B for Theme 2, on Wednesday, Feb 26 at 6:30 p.m., Mr. Raymond Ibrahim will address insights from his book, “The Sword and Scimitar, Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West."

Each event in the Provocative Topics series will be free and open to the public at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center, 950 Soldiers Drive. Check for weather changes before traveling: https://ahec.armywarcollege.edu.

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Earlier in the series --

Theme 1, ‘Evolving perceptions of memorialization' - Session A

On Jan 9, the US Army Heritage & Education Center series began with retired Brig. Gen. Ty Seidule, who discussed perspectives on “The U.S. Army’s Confederate Memorialization Problem” in a free, public event at AHEC. Seidule talked about the history behind the current debate over the memorialization of the Confederacy in the American Armed Forces. The War Department, during the World War I -- World War II period, named 10 posts for military officers who fought for the Confederacy; Seidule shared insights about the changing public perceptions and purposes in choosing Confederates' names for Army bases.

Seidule is Professor Emeritus of History at the United States Military Academy at West Point. He is the co-editor of the West Point History of Warfare series published by Simon and Schuster, which won three Army Historical Foundation Distinguished Writing Prizes. His book “Robert E. Lee and Me” will be published in 2020 by St. Martin's Press.

Theme 1, ‘Evolving perceptions of memorialization’ - Session B

On Jan 22, the USAHEC lecture and discussion series on ‘provocative topics in military history’ continued with a second perspective from Daniel Vermilya, National Park Service Ranger and Educator. He drew from his extensive experience as an educator, discussing the circumstances, policies and decisions associated with memorials at Gettysburg Battlefield National Park.

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The Provocative Topics in Military History series will continue in the next academic year.

Two speakers, to be scheduled on two dates in September, will address theme 3, ‘The politicization of intelligence through the ages,’ examining impacts on policy-making and potential challenges for military strategy. In October 2020, the series will turn to Theme 4, ‘The U.S. Army in the Indo-Pacific: A Misunderstood past and a future ignored” – an opportunity to examine historical perspective on U.S. Army roles in the Pacific rim that challenge common perception.