Third Party Event UK launch of Blind Spot: When Journalists don’t get Religion

Talk Tuesday 24th February, 2009

What is a ‘religion blind spot’?  In the US, it is ambassadors to Muslim-majority countries not being required to have any training in Islam.  It is Madeleine Albright, Secretary of State in the Clinton régime having a bureau full of economic experts, and only one expert in religion.  In Britain, it is a secular PR thinking you don’t have to ‘do God’ and still understand 7/7.

Writer and historian Tom Holland’s recent articles on the Christian roots of secularism for New Statesman have provoked a storm of controversy.  Here he quizzes US journalists Paul Marshall and Roberta Ahmanson on the implications of religious ignorance for Britain’s media and its coverage of international affairs.

This is the UK launch of Blind Spot published by Oxford University Press.  Copies will be available for purchase.

Tom Holland is the author of three important histories: Rubicon: the Triumph and Tragedy of the Roman Empire, Persian Fire: the First World Empire, Battle for the West; Millennium: the End of the World and the Forging of Christendom. He is also an essayist for New Statesman.
Liverpool-born Paul Marshall is Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom in Washington and a columnist.  He is a commentator for CNN, Fox News, the BBC and Al Jazeera.  He contributes regularly to New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and others.  Recent books include Radical Islam’s Rules and The Rise of Hindu Extremism.
Roberta Green Ahmanson is a freelance journalist and co-author of Islam at the Crossroads.  She was religion editor of The Sun newspaper in San Bernardino and award-winning religion reporter at the Orange County Register.  She is a former recipient of the Religious Public Relations Council of New York Religion Journalist of the Year Award.  She is married to millionaire philanthropist Howard Ahmanson.

Coffee and light refreshments will be served.  A bar is available.  Event begins 11am and ends 1230pm.
Chaired by Tom Holland (Historian and New Statesman columnist)

With Editors Paul Marshall (British-born columnist and Senior Fellow of Hudson Institute, Washington) and Roberta Green Ahmanson (Award-winning freelance journalist, USA)