This is quite the story of forgiveness, arguably one of the main teachings of the Islamic tradition (and Christianity for that matter). The story goes like this: Abraham Davis, 20, was caught on CCTV helping a friend vandalize the Masjid Al Salam in Fort Smith, Arkansas, with racist graffiti in October 2016. Davis was sentenced…… Continue reading Forgiveness in Arkansas – Forgiveness in Islam
Back in 2008, I had the opportunity to meet with Judea Pearl, the father of Daniel Pearl. Following the murder of his son, Judea reached out to people across the United States hoping to counter religious extremism and build bridges of understanding between people of different faith communities. I asked Judea if he could tell…… Continue reading Peacekeeping Vs. Peacemaking: What’s the Difference?
People often ask me, Why do you study Islam if you are a Christian? Here is my answer: I am hungry for meaning, wherever it might be found. I do not care if it is in a desert of Arabia or a small village in France. I want to bridge the perceived worlds, through meaning-making.…… Continue reading Why This Christian Studies Islam
Published on Huffington Post Religion (06/16/15) It was the late 1990s and the American economy was booming. Money and consumerism were the “new religion.” Christians around me seemed to be Christians in name only. Besides having a secular education, I attended Catholic Christian Doctrine once per week from the ages of six to fourteen. I…… Continue reading From Catholicism to Atheism to Islam and Back to Catholicism
Published on Huffington Post Religion (05/08/15) Never in my wildest imagination did I ever think I would become a scholar focusing on Islam and Christian-Muslim relations. Growing up, my passion was playing basketball and following the Boston Celtics. I never had any Muslim friends. In fact, I did not even know a single follower of…… Continue reading The Price I Pay For Respecting Islam