Muslims in America who reject extremist or fundamentalist expressions of Islam at home and abroad feel the urgent need for a voice that can represent them in the escalating irrationality of the current debate about Islam, America, and the West. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf—the so-called Ground Zero Imam—has become that voice.
Drawing from his personal experiences, Imam Feisal now speaks up on behalf of disenfranchised Muslims around the United States who are spiritual, moderate, and patriotic. Born to Egyptian parents in Kuwait, Imam Rauf was educated in England and Malaysia, became a U.S. citizen in 1979, and received a degree in physics from Columbia University. Here, he explores the beliefs, aspirations, and ambitions, both spiritual and political, of American Muslims in a post-9/11 world. For example, the Imam sees the 2011 Arab uprising and the death of Osama bin Laden as turning points for Muslims, strengthening moderate voices that are closer to the true nature of Islam. He argues that orthodox Islam supports equal rights for women and embraces religious tolerance and dialogue, and insists on the relevance of Shariah law for democracy in America and for the revolutions in the Middle East.
Touching on all the major issues that have been subject to misperceptions and misrepresentations—such as the role of women, fundamentalism in America and abroad, the intersection of Islam and democracy, even the “Ground Zero Mosque”—Imam Feisal pre-sents a fresh perspective that American Muslims can identify with and a book that non-Muslims can use as a go-to guide, completely changing the discourse about Islam and America today.
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, founder and CEO of the Cordoba Initiative, has served as Imam of the al-Farah mosque since 1983 and is the visionary behind the Cordoba House project planned near the World Trade Center in New York City. The author of three previous books about Islam, an American goodwill ambassador abroad, and a sought-after speaker and media guest, he lives in New York City.