Understanding Islam at the James V. Brown Library

Historian Col. (retired) John Maietta will present the program, “Understanding Islam,” from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3 and 17 at the James V. Brown Library, 19 E. Fourth St.

A faith, a culture and a political movement – Islam has represented all of these throughout history. Many Americans find the subject of Islam mysterious, even worrisome. This two-part program will promote a better understanding of the world’s second largest religion. Among the topics to be covered are the life of its charismatic founder, the Prophet Muhammad; its core rituals and beliefs; its sectarian diversity; the rise and fall of Muslim power and influence in the Second Millennium; and the issues posed by a reinvigorated Islam today.

A Williamsport native and Bucknell University graduate, Maietta has been a passionate fan of history his entire life. For many years he operated a public relations and photography business in the Harrisburg area, while simultaneously assigned as a public affairs officer with the Pennsylvania National Guard. From 2002 to 2008 he volunteered for active-duty missions with the U.S. Army in Bosnia, Kosovo, Germany and Washington, D.C. In 2009 he deployed to Baghdad to serve as public affairs adviser to the Iraqi Ministry of Interior, which oversees all police operations and training in the country. Now retired from both the military and business professions, he is pursuing a master’s degree in applied history at Shippensburg University, in preparation for a new career in adult and community education.

The program is free and open to the public and will be held in the Lowry Room on the third floor of the Welch Family Wing at the library. Registration is suggested but not required. To register or for more information, call 326-0536 or go to