‘Muslims in America’ Series Continues with Discussion on Radicalization


MACON – Mercer University's “Muslims in America” series will continue Feb. 9, 6 p.m., in Willingham Auditorium on the topic of “Radicalization: The Causes and Spread of Extremism.”

The discussion will include Ann-Kathrin Kuder, visiting Fulbright Scholar and German language instructor in Mercer's College of Liberal Arts, and Jeff Battcher, principal at Battcher Communications.

Kuder, a native of Hannover, Germany, is one of 400 young educators from 50 countries who traveled to the U.S. to teach and study during the current academic year as part of the Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FTLA) Program. As a graduate student at Leibniz University of Hannover, she completed a master's thesis, titled “Extremism in Germany: An Old/New Problem.” She will draw from her research and experiences abroad to discuss the causes and spread of extremism.

Battcher, a Macon native, is a veteran public relations executive and global communications leader. He has served as an adviser to the United Nations in its efforts to combat Boko Haram, the Islamic extremist terrorist group based in northeastern Nigeria. He will discuss the different modes of communication used to both spread and combat radicalization.

The “Muslims in America” series, designed to promote interfaith dialogue and understanding about Islam and the experiences of Muslims in the Middle Georgia community, is co-sponsored by Mercer's Center for Community Engagement, Department of International and Global Studies, and Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) Office.

The series will continue on March 22 with “The Muslims are Coming!: The Truth Behind Islamization, Shari'a, and Jihad,” featuring Dr. Abbas Barzegar, assistant professor of Islam at Georgia State University, and April 19 with “Religious Dialogue: The Solutions for Peace,” featuring Dr. Mansa Bilal Mark King, associate professor of sociology at Morehouse College.

Each discussion in the series is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. in Willingham Auditorium.

Kyle is senior director of media relations at Mercer. In addition to being the primary media contact for most academic and administrative units of the university, he serves as editor of the Mercerian alumni magazine and News@Mercer e-newsletters, and he coordinates hometown and university news releases.