KARACHI    -    Renowned Iranian-American scholar Dr Reza Aslan delivered a lecture at Habib University on Thursday as part of the University’s flagship Yohsin Lecture series.

In his introductory remarks, Habib University President Wasif Rizvi welcomed Dr Aslan and thanked him for coming to Pakistan to speak at the Yohsin Lecture.

Addressing the audience, Aslan paid tribute to HU, and its mission of bringing about a transformative change in Pakistan’s higher education system. He said that the initiatives taken by the University would bear dividends for the future of the country and he commended Wasif Rizvi for the bold steps taken to help launch the institute.

“What I have seen here at Habib has greatly impressed me the scope of this institute’s vision and goals are absolutely remarkable, especially when one places it within the context of contemporary Pakistan,” he said.

During his lecture, Aslan spoke on the topic of “Why do we believe” and why religion and spirituality is such a fundamental aspect of human beings. Covering a wide range of areas, Dr Aslan said that for as long as people ponder the question of ‘why are we here?’ and ‘what is the purpose of my existence?’ the power of belief and spirituality will play an important role in the course of human events.

“In this day and age when religiously motivated violence and upheaval troubles many parts of the world, it’s important to realise that at the heart of all religions is the message of humanity and compassion to our fellow beings,” Dr Aslan said.

Following his speech, Dr Aslan then had a conversation with Dr. Christopher Taylor, who also moderated the event, during which they discussed the subject of the Yohsin Lecture. They spoke on a variety of issues related to the lecture, including on how religion has managed to permeate the human experience since the dawn of recorded history.

Following this discussion between Dr Aslan and Dr Taylor, the floor was opened to a question and answer session, during which the guest speaker had an intellectually thought-provoking interaction with the audience.