January 24, 2012 Journalist and Author Jonathan Lyons to Discuss "Islam Through Western Eyes," Feb. 16

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Cheryl Adams (202) 707-8476
Contact: Request ADA accommodations five business days in advance at (202) 707-6382 (voice/tty) or ada@loc.gov

In his new book, Jonathan Lyons explains the Western view of Islam, developed during the past 1,000 years, and analyzes its impact on the social sciences, including sociology, politics, philosophy, theology, international relations, security studies and human rights scholarship.

Lyons will talk about “Islam Through Western Eyes: From the Crusades to the War on Terrorism” at the Library of Congress at noon on Thursday, Feb. 16, in the West Dining Room on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C.

Sponsored by the Library’s Humanities and Social Sciences Division and the African and Middle Eastern Division, the event is free and open to the public. No tickets or reservations are needed. Book sales and a signing will follow the program.

According to Lyons, the Western view of Islam has prevented the West from responding effectively to its most significant 21st-century challenges: the rise of Islamic power; the emergence of religious violence; and the growing tension between established social values and multicultural rights among Muslim immigrant populations.

In his talk, Lyons will address the issues of Islam and modernity, Islam and violence, and Islam and women. He will propose new ways of thinking about the Western relationship to the Islamic world.

Lyons, who holds a doctorate in sociology and lives in Washington, D.C., spent 20 years as a foreign correspondent and editor for Reuters, mostly in the Islamic world. His previous books include “The House of Wisdom: How the Arabs Transformed Western Civilization” (2009) and “Answering Only to God: Faith and Freedom in Twenty-First-Century Iran” with Geneive Abdo (2003).

The Humanities and Social Sciences Division provides reference service and collection development in the Main, Local History and Genealogy, and Microform reading rooms at the Library of Congress. It regularly sponsors programs in the arts, humanities and social sciences.

The African and Middle Eastern Division is the center for the study of some 78 countries and regions from Southern Africa to the Maghreb and from the Middle East to Central Asia. For more information, visit www.loc.gov/rr/amed/.

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, holds more than 151 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning website at www.loc.gov.


PR 12-020
ISSN 0731-3527