Vail Symposium hosts first Hot Topic of the summer |

Vail Symposium hosts first Hot Topic of the summer

Daily Staff Report
Vail CO, Colorado

VAIL, Colorado ” Smart conversation. Free Appetizers. Cocktails. Worldly questions. Learning. Interesting people. A Hot Topic. Who could ask for anything more? Even better, bring a friend for free to the first Hot Topic event.

Set for Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the Sonnenalp Resort of Vail, the Vail Symposium kicks off its summer line-up of Hot Topics with a lecture entitled, “Muslims in the Multicultural Modern World,” and a new promotion ” bring a friend for free.

“We wanted to devise a way to get more members of the community hooked on the Symposium’s love of learning,” said Fraidy Aber, executive director of the Vail Symposium. The Vail Symposium is a non-profit organization dedicated to year-round, lifelong learning through cultural and educational programs that are thought provoking, diverse and affordable.

“Our Hot Topics series represents some of the Symposium’s most signature programming,” Aber said. “And we wanted to treat the community to experience the first one of the season.”

The Vail Symposium’s Hot Topics series takes the pulse of international, national and local concerns emerging in fields like politics, religion, education, economics, sociology and technology. Underwritten by The Bookworm of Edwards, this summer’s Hot Topic series will feature historical academics, major political players as well as best-selling author of “Infidel,” Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

For the Vail Symposium’s first Hot Topic of the 2008 summer season, Dr. Adnan Husain, a Medieval European and Middle Eastern historian will speak. In his program, Husain will discuss the relationship between Muslims and the modern, secular world. Using specific examples from Europe, where Muslim interaction and integration with secular, liberal democracy is very prevelant, Husain will address the idea of accommodating cultural and religious differences using an historical framework. Do the anti-immigrant sentiments and hostility driving the fears of “Eurabia” illustrate the limits of multiculturalism?

Husain, an associate professor of Islam and History at Queen’s University in Canada, argues, “The place of Islam and Muslims in the West needs to be understood in a longer history of the multicultural Mediterranean to understand how our notions of secularism and pluralism have shaped these contemporary issues. Re-imagining history will be crucial to a common global future beyond a dangerously false ‘clash of civilizations,'” he said.

The event begins with a meet-and-greet at 5:30 p.m. and the talk starting promptly at 6 p.m. All attendees are invited to bring a friend for free. Admission is $25, $20 for Vail Symposium Contributors, and $15 for students, teachers, and young professionals. Reservations are encouraged. Call 970-476-0954 or visit for reservations and more information.


Adnan Husain: “Muslims in the Multicultural Modern World” at the Sonnenalp in Vail

Time: 5:30 p.m., meet and greet; 6 p.m. lecture.

Cost: $25/$20 Vail Symposium contributors, bring a friend for free.

July 13

Grover Norquist: “The ‘Leave Us Alone’ Coalition” at the Beaver Creek Club

Time: 5:30 p.m. meet and greet; 6 p.m. lecture.

Cost: $25/$20 Vail Symposium contributors


Aug. 23

Future Policy Perspectives: Invited speakers include Sen. Joe Biden, Gov. Richardson, and more. Final line-up TBA shortly. Takes place at Ford Hall in Beaver Creek.

Time: 5:30 p.m., dinner and discussion.

Aug. 24

Political Predictions with Robert Guttman, Chrystia Freeland and friends at Ford Hall in Beaver Creek.

Time: 8:30 a.m., breakfast and discussion.

Cost: Attend both Aug. 23 and 24 for $125/$100 for Vail Symposium contributors.

Sept. 8

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Author of “Infidel” at Vilar Performing Arts Center, Beaver Creek.

Time: 7:30 p.m. lecture.

Cost: $40.

For reservations and information, contact the Vail Symposium at 970-476-0954 or

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