Former U.S. Ambassador to Yemen Barbara Bodine shared her views and defined the concept of Political Islam to a crowded room in Clayton Hall on Wednesday, March 27.
The lecture was the fourth in the Global Agenda series on Understanding International Terrorism Today.
Bodine has led a distinguished career, serving the Department of State in Kuwait, Iraq and most recently, in Yemen. She discussed some challenging experiences in her career, including the attack on the U.S.S. Cole, and the hijacking of a flight that she and 90 other passengers were flying on from Yemen.
She stressed the importance of United States intervention in efforts such as counter terrorism and peace keeping.
It is the right goal and the smart goal for the United States, she said.
She also discussed the mutual stereotypes that Americans and the peoples of the Middle East hold against one another. She argued that, if both sides would work to dispel these stereotypes, the nature of the world would improve.
Just like we would not want to be judged by the actions of Timothy McVeigh, they do not wished to be judged by the acts of Mohamed Atta, Bodine said.
She cited better communication and an effort to understand and respect both cultures as ways to break through the barriers of misconception.
Bodine opened up a forum for a lively question and answer session, in which she was asked about various issues, including her own experiences as a woman in Middle Eastern culture.
The Global Agenda series continues with Egypts ambassador to the United States and former Middle Eastern peace negotiator Nabil Fahmy on Wednesday, April 10. He will speak at 7:30 p.m. in Clayton Hall.
Previous lectures are now available on video and can be found online at [www.udel.edu/global]. Bodines speech will be available soon on video at the site.
The 2002 Global Agenda series is made possible with support of the World Affairs Council of Wilmington, as well as the Universitys College of Arts and Science.
Article by Erin OLeary
April 8, 2002