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September 3, 2021

Scholar to discuss Muslim ways of understanding women during Akbar Lecture

SVSU to host virtual presentation by Kecia Ali, Ph.D.

Saginaw Valley State University will host a virtual presentation by a scholar of religion, gender and ethics. Kecia Ali, Ph.D., will present “Women and Islam: Unity and Diversity in a Global Tradition”  on Wednesday, September 15 at 6:30 p.m. Ali is the featured speaker for the Dr. Raana Akbar Memorial Lecture on Islam and Culture.

During her presentation, Ali will discuss Muslim ways of understanding women and their social identities, as well as the diversity of Muslim perspectives about that topic.

Waheed Akbar, M.D., who established the lecture in memory of his wife Raana, said, “Dr. Ali is a great authority and representative on women and Islam, a topic we have covered quite often under this lecture series. This is also what Raana would have loved to do, to host a female academic who can discuss and explain Islam and its relationship to women in our society at this juncture in history.

“No one is more qualified to speak with us about this theme,” Akbar added. “Dr. Ali has done extensive research on the topic and has published several books relating to Islam.”

The Akbar lecture will be delivered virtually. To register, visit Following registration, a link to the lecture webinar will be provided.

Ali is a renowned academic and serves as a professor of religion and chair of the religion department at Boston University. Her research ranges from Islam’s formative period to the present and focuses on Islamic law, gender and sexuality, as well as religious biography. More information about Ali and her work can be found at

Ali’s visit to SVSU is supported through the Dr. Raana Akbar Memorial Lecture Series in partnership with SVSU’s Edwards Lecture Series and the Dow Visiting Scholars Lecture Series.

The Raana Akbar Memorial Lecture on Islam and Culture was established in 2011 by Dr. Waheed Akbar in memory of his wife, Raana, a former member of the SVSU Board of Control, physician and community leader.

The William and Julia Edwards Lecture in Philosophy and Religion is a forum where recognized scholars in religion and philosophy are invited to share their work with the campus community.

The Dow Visiting Scholars and Artists program was established through an endowment from The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation to enrich our regional cultural and intellectual opportunities.

For more information, visit