A Message from the Author
Are Islam and the West locked in a deadly clash of civilizations?
Is Islam compatible with democracy and human rights?
Will religious fundamentalism block the development of modern societies in the Islamic world?
Are Muslims commanded to deceive non-Muslims in any way, at any time, if it serves Islam?
Is ISIS a representation of “true” Islam or a radical corruption?
And why is there so much conflicting information?
Many Americans have been deliberately misinformed about what Islam actually stands for. There is a constant uninformed chatter about what Islam is really all about. The majority of people have never met a Muslim, so it is easy for the majority of people to accept this propaganda. I believe these books can answer questions, build bridges, and promote understanding.
Since 2002, I have facilitated interfaith dialogues with many different people. The conversations in these books are real. Some are curious, some are concerned, some are hostile, some are academic, and some are soul-searching. These transcripts showcase everyday people — from angry and concerned to inquisitive and supportive — asking real questions and getting straight answers about Islam. My hope is that this can be a small step towards better understanding and harmony.
It is a dark time we live in, but we are pushing back against the ignorance and fear and hatred with patience and authentic information and knowledge.
REMEMBER: With dialogue, comes understanding. . .
Ahmed Lotfy Rashed
“There’s never been a more important time for interfaith dialogue than now. Rashed explains how the tenets of his religion forbid the sort of behaviour shown by extremist groups. At the same time, he doesn’t sugar-coat the religion’s ethics. Overall, I find it a balanced and informative book and would recommend it.”
Allister N. Thompson
“Loved this book! The format is new and innovative, and the content is very informative. Instead of a question/answer straight out format, it’s a series of written conversations between two people. It doesn’t read as contrived or scripted and gave me new insight into the Muslim faith.”
The Faerie Review
“Reading What Would a Muslim Say felt like taking a journey in the minds and hearts of people and what they feel and think about Islam and Muslims. The questions are honest and reflect the thirst that people have to understand and explore what Islam is about. Ahmed Rashed remained focused in his answers even when it got really tough or emotional. He kept the answers balanced as they were also honest and spoke to the level of the person asking the questions with no judgement and with extreme patience, representing what Islam stands for and what good Muslims are like.”
Muslim Chaplain, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
“Typically, we find books on Islam that only cover the basics, but lacking personality and style. One of the unique traits of my teacher and colleague, Ahmed Rashed, is his ability to be methodical, precise and eloquent simultaneously rather than at the expense of the other. When I was reading this, I found the combination of content from scripture to prophetic tradition and then historical perspectives along with striking metaphors and analogies to be extraordinary. Hopefully this booklet and What Would a Muslim Say are only the beginning.”