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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

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Media Contact: Bridget Lewis

ARLINGTON – Billie Holiday’s wavy intonation has its roots in the Muezzin’s call to prayer, scholars say. The syncopated riffs and rhythms of blues guitar legend John Lee Hooker echo a traditional call and response, with painful lyrics about life, love and faith.

The bebop and cool jazz of American music will be explored when The University of Texas at Arlington’s College of Liberal Arts and School of Architecture welcome back Hussein Rashid, adjunct professor of religion at Hofstra University, to the campus next week for the discussion, “Everyday Art: Islamic Contribution to American Music.”

Rashid will explore Islamic impact on the musical and meditative traditions from such greats as John Coltrane to hip-hop’s Mos Def.

The lecture will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 12, in room 204 of the Architecture Building, 601 W. Nedderman Drive.

Rashid spoke at the University last year about Islamic influence on popular music, dance architecture, literature and other arts seen in everyday American life.

Event organizers say the lecture was incredibly well-received, which is why they asked him back.

“Dr. Rashid is able to reach experts and novices alike and sustain their interest,” said Melia Belli, assistant professor of Asian art history in the UT Arlington Department of Art & Art History. “His work is important for many reasons. For one thing, due to the misrepresentation of Islam in the American media and entertainment, most Americans have a very misinformed, negative view of the faith. He reminds us that the Muslim representation in the U.S. is significant and contributes much.”

Rashid works with major political figures and institutions, advising them on the history and culture of Muslims. He is an associate editor for Religion Dispatches, one of the largest web magazines on religion and culture in the United States.

His visit is sponsored in part by the Aga Khan Council for Northern Texas and is free and open to the public.

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution of nearly 33,500 students in the heart of North Texas. Visit to learn more.


The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.