Many Muslims in America, who reject extremist interpretations of Islam both at home and abroad, feel that their views are not always adequately represented in the escalating debate about the place of Islam in the United States and other Western countries. Seeking a voice that would speak for them, many look to Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, a respected Muslim cleric whose call to build an Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero, the site of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, earned him the moniker “Ground Zero Imam.”
Drawing from his personal experiences, Imam Feisal today speaks on behalf of many Muslims in the United States on issues of spirituality, moderation and patriotism.
Imam Feisal is also the author of a new book - “Moving the Mountain: A New Vision of Islam in America.” In it, he touches on such issues as women’s rights, religious tolerance and dialogue, and the role of Sharia law both in American democracy as well as in the current transformations in the Middle East and North Africa, unleashed by the popular uprisings of the Arab Spring.
VOA’s Mohamed Elshinnawi spoke to the Imam about his book and his vision of the future of Islam in America in the latest edition of our Points of View podcast.
Join us and share your thoughts with us in comments below.
Egyptian-American Mohamed Elshinnawi is a senior reporter at VOA. He covered the Middle East peace process from Camp David in 1978 through the 1993 Oslo Agreements to Syrian-Israeli talks in 2000. He interviewed Arab heads of state, prime ministers, foreign ministers and as well as ranking U.S. officials, including members of Congress. He hosted "Dialogue with the West," a live TV show which, broadcast via satellite from Washington, reached 35 million Arabs. He is fluent in Arabic and English.