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Dr. Judea Pearl's push for dialog is his "vision of revenge"

BRISTOL, R.I. - January 23, 2006 In early 2002, during the smoldering aftermath of the World Trade Center attacks, Wall Street Journal Reporter Daniel Pearl disappeared in the dark streets of Karachi, Pakistan, never to be seen alive again by family and friends.

An extremist group calling itself the National Movement for the Restoration of Pakistani Sovereignty had abducted Daniel and six days later videotaped Daniel's beheading. Then they gruesomely circulated the tape around the world over the Internet. The kidnappers, who were Muslim, implied in the tape that since Daniel was a Jew, his murder was justified.

The Pearl family could have, in turn, clamored for swift and angry vengeance. But they didn't. Instead, Dr. Judea Pearl, Daniel's father, immediately created the Daniel Pearl Foundation to address the terrible conflicts in the Middle East that led to his son's murder. Through the foundation, Dr. Pearl has dedicated himself to promoting inter-religious dialog to honor the memory of his slain son. "It is our vision of revenge," Dr. Pearl has said.

Dr. Pearl will speak at Roger Williams University on Thursday, Feb. 9, at 5:00 p.m. as part of the University's Civil Discourse Distinguished Lecture Series. The lecture will be held in Room 157 of the Feinstein College of Arts and Sciences Building on the Bristol Campus at One Old Ferry Road. Students, faculty, staff and members of the community will hear about Daniel's life as an example of compassion and tolerance, as well as prospects for greater understanding - not violence - among the world's three great religions.

Judea Pearl and his wife Ruth Pearl are co-editors of the book "I am Jewish: Personal Reflections Inspired by the Last Words of Daniel Pearl" which won the 2004 National Jewish Book Award for Anthologies.

The Reason & Respect: The Civil Discourse Distinguished Lecture Series was inaugurated by Roger Williams University President Roy J. Nirschel in 2004 to bring nationally recognized speakers to campus to discuss important issues of our time with reason and respect. Too often in society, politicians, media and even some in higher education, confuse the volume of their voices with the substance of their argument. Roger Williams University believes it is important to have many voices from people with varying experiences and different points of view, but with civility.

Roger Williams University is a liberal arts university offering undergraduate and graduate programs in the arts and sciences, architecture, business, construction management, education, engineering, historic preservation, justice studies, legal studies, visual arts studies, and law.

The university enrolls more than 4,000 students at the main campus in Bristol, R.I., The Ralph R. Papitto School of Law and at the Providence Metropolitan Center for Education and Law. Roger Williams is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

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