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Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014

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Pakistani rock star performs benefit concert, Nov. 17

Salman Ahmad, one of the most famous rock musicians in Pakistan and India, will visit campus Thursday, Nov. 17, to participate in a forum on tensions between religion and artistic expression and to perform a benefit concert for earthquake relief.

A documentary film presentation and discussion will be part of an event titled "When Art and Religion Collide" at 4:30 p.m. in 101 McCormick Hall. It will begin with a screening of "The Rock Star and the Mullah," which chronicles Ahmad's investigation of conflicts between clerics and musicians in his native Pakistan. The screening will be followed by a talk by Princeton faculty member Stanley Katz, director of the Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies, and a question-and-answer session with Katz and Ahmad.

At 8 p.m. in the University Chapel, Ahmad and his band Junoon will perform an acoustic concert to benefit relief efforts in Pakistan following the country's recent earthquake. Suggested donations are $10 for University ID holders and $25 for the general public.

The Rev. Paul Raushenbush, associate dean of religious life and one of the event's organizers, said he and Katz had been "looking for a way to hold a discussion at Princeton focused on the balance between respect for religious beliefs and freedom of artistic expression. Salman Ahmad is both a musician and a person of faith, and his documentary is respectful while provoking many of these important questions."

Ahmad is a well-known activist for peace in South Asia and has been appointed a U.N. goodwill ambassador for HIV/AIDS. His band, Junoon, has sold more than 25 million albums worldwide and in 2001 became the first rock act to perform at the U.N. General Assembly.

The events are sponsored by the Office of Religious Life, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Department of Music, Council of the Humanities, Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination and Committee for South Asian Studies.

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