“Islam And The West” Conference Explores Critical Topics; Cheney, Biden, Kissinger, Woodruff and Others Shed Light on New Global Realities

Contact: Cindy L. Jobbins, 215.575.4812, Brendon Shank, 610.649.9292


Philadelphia, Pa. - 05/01/2006 - Experts from around the world gathered today to discuss the complex relationship between Islam and the western world at a conference organized by the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia with support from The Glenmede Trust Company and The Pew Charitable Trusts. “Islam and the West” was headlined by Vice President Dick Cheney, U.S. Senator Joe Biden, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, and veteran TV journalist Judy Woodruff. The conference was held on the occasion of the 90th birthday of renowned Islamic scholar Bernard Lewis. The all-day event drew over 600 members of the World Affairs Council and the larger Philadelphia community to the Park Hyatt at the Bellevue in Center City.

Islam and the West featured the following speakers and panelists:

  • Hon. Dick Cheney, Vice President of the United States 
  • Hon. Joe Biden, United States Senator 
  • Dr. Henry Kissinger, Former U.S. Secretary of State 
  • Judy Woodruff, PBS NewsHour 
  • Prof. Bernard Lewis, Princeton University 
  • Hon. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Dutch Parliament Member and Submission filmmaker 
  • Prof. Francis Fukuyama, Johns Hopkins University 
  • Prof. Fouad Ajami, Johns Hopkins University 
  • Prof. Akbar Ahmed, American University 
  • Dr. Josef Joffe, Publisher and Editor of Die Zeit 
  • Walter Russell Mead, Senior Fellow, Council of Foreign Relations
“The relationship between Islam and the United States and its traditional allies will be a defining feature of the 21st century,” said World Affairs Council President Buntzie Churchill. “Today’s conference is a forum for strengthening and developing the ideas that will shape global policy for decades.”

“The Pew Charitable Trusts is delighted to partner with The Glenmede Trust Company and the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia in providing this important and timely forum on perhaps the most critical topic affecting U.S. foreign policy,” said Rebecca Rimel, president and CEO of The Pew Charitable Trusts. “We are honored to be joined by Professor Bernard Lewis and some of the world’s most eminent scholars and thought leaders on Islam as they offer a variety of perspectives on the nature of political Islam and how it relates to America and the West more broadly.”

“Philadelphia has always been a birthplace of ideas that further the potential of human society,” said Albert E. Piscopo, President and CEO of The Glenmede Trust Company. “The Glenmede Trust Company is very proud to join The Pew Charitable Trusts and continue that tradition by sponsoring the ‘Islam and the West’ conference.”

A glossary of Middle East terms used during the conference is available at the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia web site: www.wacphila.org.

About the World Affairs Council

The World Affairs Council of Philadelphia is a private, non-profit, non-partisan educational organization dedicated to creating a more informed citizenry on matters of national and international significance.

Established in 1949 as a forum for discussing differing points of view, the Council does not endorse candidates for public office or lobby for policies. Membership is open to all who share its principles. The Council currently serves over 120 corporate members and their CEOs, and more than 4,000 other executives and individual members. For more information, visit www.wacphila.org.

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