What is the most exciting book you have read in the last year? What about it
captured your imagination?
The Mobile Wave by Michael Saylor. Saylor discusses how mobile technology and
intelligence will affect everything in our lives.
The First Muslim by Lesley Hazelton. It is a biography of Muhammad written by a
Jewish woman, the interfaith component to this book piqued my interest.
What in your view is the greatest challenge facing people of faith today?
Learning to recognize
the eternal Truth of God. And, spirituality in faiths other than their own.
you could spend a day with one figure from the sacred texts of the three
Abrahamic faiths, who would it be and what would you hope to learn?
I would like to learn from my Prophet Muhammad
and spend a day with him to understand his perspective of other non-Abrahamic
faiths. And, to learn how we can recognize the eternal from the contingent in
our all our faiths.
Can you describe the Islam you gave your heart to? What do you consider the
essence of being a Muslim?
Islam means “surrender to God,” a very difficult
thing to do. We humans tend to want to teach God his religion. Islam, as
described in the Quran, is not exclusively the religion revealed through
Prophet Muhammad, but, is, in fact, God’s religion revealed to every prophet
sent to all communities on earth.
Your 2012 book, Moving the Mountain: Beyond Ground Zero to a New Vision of
Islam in America, is another chapter in your life’s work of building bridges
between Muslim and western social thought. Where do you see the most promising
signs of hope for increased understanding?
I see it in the many young today who want
to see the presence and vision of god in their own experience. That is the
basis for creating increased understanding.