Sultan of Sokoto, religious leader of Nigeria’s Muslim community, to visit Harvard

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His Eminence Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, the Sultan of Sokoto, will make his first visit to Harvard University Oct. 2–3, 2011. He will deliver the Samuel L. and Elizabeth Jodidi Lecture, one of the most distinguished lectures at the University, on Oct. 3.

The Sultan of Sokoto is the religious leader of Nigeria’s Muslim community, which consists of approximately half of the country’s nearly 160 million inhabitants, and of millions of Muslims in adjoining countries in West Africa. He serves Nigeria as president-general of the National Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs.

The Jodidi Lecture, jointly sponsored by the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and Harvard Divinity School (HDS), is titled “Islam and Peace-Building in West Africa.” It will take place at the Sackler Lecture Hall, located at 485 Broadway (at the corner of Quincy Street), from 4:30 to 6 p.m. The lecture is open to the public, but seating is limited to 275 people.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity for the Harvard community to engage one of the most important Muslim leaders in Africa,” said William A. Graham, dean of Harvard Divinity School. “Anyone interested in peacekeeping, religious leadership, women’s leadership in Islam, the postcolonial experience, African religions, or a host of other issues, will find the sultan a fascinating figure who confounds many American stereotypes of both sub-Saharan Africa and the Islamic tradition.”

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