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About Reza Aslan (No god But God)

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  • About Reza Aslan (No god But God)

    Reza Aslan is a research associate at the University of Southern California’s Center on Public Diplomacy.

    He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Religion from Santa Clara University, a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard University, a Master of Fine Arts in Fiction from the University of Iowa, and is currently a Doctoral Candidate in History of Religions at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

    He has served as a legislative assistant for the Friends’ Committee on National Legislation in Washington D.C., and was elected president of Harvard’s Chapter of the World Conference on Religion and Peace, a United Nations Organization committed to solving religious conflicts throughout the world.

    Until recently, he was both Visiting Assistant Professor of Islamic and Middle East Studies at the University of Iowa and the Truman Capote Fellow in Fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

    Boston Globe, the Washington Post, the Nation, and others, and has appeared on Meet The Press, Hardball, The Daily Show, The Tavis Smiley Show, and Nightline.

    His first book, No god but God has been translated into half a dozen languages and was short-listed for the Guardian (UK) First Book Award.

    Born in Iran, he now lives in Santa Monica and New Orleans, where he is the Middle East commentator on Marketplace and a regular Op-Ed contributor to the Los Angeles Times.

    Though it is the fastest growing religion in the world, Islam remains shrouded by ignorance and fear. What is the essence of this ancient faith? Is it a religion of peace or war? How does Allah differ from the God of Jews and Christians? Can an Islamic State be founded on democratic values such as pluralism and human rights?

    A writer and scholar of comparative religions, Reza Aslan has garnered international acclaim for the passion and clarity he has brought to these questions. In No god but God, Aslan challenges the “clash of civilizations” mentality that has distorted our view of Islam and explains this critical faith in all its complexity, beauty, and compassion.

    Contrary to popular perception, Islam is a religion firmly rooted in the prophetic traditions of the Jewish and Christian scriptures. Aslan begins with a vivid account of the social and religious milieu from which the Prophet Muhammad arose. The revelations that Muhammad received in Mecca and Medina, and which were recorded in the Quran, became the foundation of a radically egalitarian community, the likes of which had never been seen before.

    Soon after the his death, the Prophet’s successors set about the overwhelming task of defining and interpreting Muhammad’s message for future generations. Their efforts led to the development of a comprehensive code of conduct expected to regulate every aspect of the believer’s life. But this attempt only widened the chasm between orthodox Islam and its two major sects, Shiism and Sufism, both of which Aslan presents in rich detail.

    Finally, No god but God examines how, in the shadow of European colonialism, Muslims developed conflicting strategies to reconcile traditional Islamic values with the social and political realities of the modern world. With the emergence of the Islamic State in the 20th century, this contest over the future of Islam has become a passionate, sometimes violent battle between those who seek to enforce a rigid and archaic legal code on society and those who struggle to harmonize the teachings of the Prophet with contemporary ideals of democracy and human rights. According to Reza Aslan, we are now living in the era of “the Islamic Reformation.”

    No god but God is a persuasive and elegantly written account of the origins, evolution, and future of Islam.

  • #2
    Contrary to popular perception, Islam is a religion firmly rooted in the prophetic traditions of the Jewish and Christian scriptures.????????
    نه غزه نه لبنان جانم فدای ایران

    «در زندگی زخم*هايی هست که مثل خوره روح را آهسته در انزوا می*خورد و می*تراشد.»
    صادق هدايت؛ بوف کور


    • #3
      Originally posted by donsaeid View Post
      Contrary to popular perception, Islam is a religion firmly rooted in the prophetic traditions of the Jewish and Christian scriptures.????????
      Ketab ro hanouz nakhoundam ! az chand vaght pish ta beh hal ,be man sefaresh shodeh keh in ketab ro bekhounam.

      Az gharar-e ma'alum,in agha hesabi gol kardeh ba in ketab !


      • #4

        I believe we are living in the time of the Islamic reformation. In fact, I think we are living in the twilight of that reformation. For me, the word reform is defined by its inevitability. This process cannot be stopped; it can be slowed down for a time but reform is inevitable. It's an historic reformation taking place within Islam — it's adapting itself to the realities of the world around it. I think we'll see the same process we saw in the Christian reformation from doctrinal absolutism to doctrinal relativism; toward a truly indigenous Islamic enlightenment. And it's up to us as Muslims in the US to give voice to that for our brothers and sisters who don't have the voice or the same ability to speak out as we do.

        Iraq should look to Israel for a model that combines democracy and religious belief.

        It is pluralism—the peaceful coexistence and legal equality between different ethnic, religious or political ideologies—that defines democracy, not secularism.

        The veil is seen as a symbol of Islam but like all symbols, it's meaningless unless interpreted. The veil is as much a symbol of oppression of women as it is an expression of Muslim femininity. The strangeness of this is that if you go to a country where the veil is either mandatory or there is a lot of pressure to wear it, you'll find the vast majority of women are against it.


        • #5
          Reza Aslan has written a book 'No god but God' and he has been doing the rounds at the various news stations, talking a whole lot of smack. His latest PR stunt on YouTube summarizes his idiotic views on the Muslim world, making me cringe at every word.

          I agree with Reza that in the US, the leaders base their ideologies in religion. I agree that there then is hypocrisy from the West when the East does the same thing. But this so-called 'scholar' is missing some fundamental history on Iran and is a little too eager to hear himself talk.

          Walking down a New York City street in his floral Dolce & Gabbana shirt, he talks to his agent like an out-of-work actor hoping to make it big one day. He admits that he got the call after 9/11 to cash in on what was going on and he has decided he can be a 'public intellectual'.

          'Islam is hot right now, so let me talk about it and I can be on TV.'

          Add a fake beard and big words like 'metaphysical contemplation' and Lou Dobbs will eat it UP. How religious is Reza Aslan really and where did the beard come from all of a sudden? Forget the clever agent; the man must have good character designers on his production team.

          Reza warns people of a 'cataclysmic event' that will happen some time soon in the Muslim world, sounding part like Mohammad, and part like the 10 o'clock news anchor, scaring you into watching the rest of the show. Sadly, he views himself as a 'first generation Muslim American'.

          You know what I think? I think he's spent just a little too much time in the tanning salon in Soho. I also gather he doesn't know much about Persian culture. And from the sound of his 'Ahmadinejad' pronunciation, I am willing to bet his Farsi is not so hot either.

          My advice to the young 'scholar' would be to learn a little about the real Iran. The one that has Jews and Armenians and Zoroastrians in it. The one that wrote an epic about our kings to save our language and our heritage. The place where wine was invented and where people still celebrate Norouz and Mehregan.

          Reza says that in the U.S., the American Muslims outnumber Jews as the largest religious minority group. I can tell you that not a single person in that group would be from Iran. Since Mohammad invaded the Persians and forced Islam on Iran, Iranians have resisted that religion with full force.

          Since when did Iranians have anything in common with the Arab world that Reza invites 'Muslims of the world to unite'? Since when did it become ok to mix religion with state and opt for a 'reformed Islamic government' in Iran?

          Why else would we have Shiites and Sunnis? Hint: it’s so 'we' are not like 'them'. The Islam that is practiced in Iran is a bastardized, Persianized version of what Mohammad envisioned and it still makes no sense! What’s more, the 74 different sects of Islam that have been created since the coming of Mohammad have nothing in common. You think the Ismaili’s or Bahai’s will want to join Reza's “Muslim” movement?

          Reza Aslan, you are a moron. Shame on you for forgetting that you are Iranian first. Shame on you for posing as a scholar when you have not done your homework. You are an embarrassment.

          You need to think long and hard about what you are out there peddling; even if it does turn into cold, hard cash and pays your suntanning bills.

          You need to learn that religion needs to stay out of the public arena and government. You need to practice your faith behind closed doors and preach your 'intellectual' non-speak somewhere else (how about the African-American Muslims – you’d make a great Malcolm X).

          Do me a favor and, please for the sake of all educated and intelligent Iranians, keep it in your pants and leave us alone.


          • #6
            Reza Aslan, an internationally acclaimed writer and scholar of religions,

            and regular commentator for NPR's Marketplace and Middle East Analyst

            for CBS News will give a lecture on “The Future of Islam: Toward the

            Islamic Reformation” at the Newport Beach Central Library.

            WHEN: Friday, April 20, 2007 @ 7:30 pm

            Saturday, April 21, 2007 @ 2:00pm (SOLD OUT)

            WHERE: Newport Beach Central Library

            Friends Meeting Room

            1000 Avocado Avenue, Newport Beach

            COST: Friday Evening: $40 per person. Includes wine reception, dessert, book signing, live music.

            Saturday Afternoon: $25 per person. Includes refreshments and book signing.


            Reza Aslan is one of the nation's most respected experts on Islam and the Middle East. He is a research associate at the University of Southern California's Center on Public Diplomacy, Middle East Commentator for NPR's 'Marketplace' and Muslim Affairs Analyst for CBS News. He was elected president of Harvard's Chapter of the World Conference on Religion and Peace, a United Nations Organization committed to solving religious conflicts throughout the world.

            Aslan has written for the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, Slate, Boston Globe, the Washington Post, the Nation, and others, and has appeared on Meet the Press, Hardball, The Daily Show, Real Time with Bill Maher and Nightline.

            He is the author of the internationally acclaimed No god but God: the Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam. Praised by the New York Times as a 'grippingly narrated and thoughtfully examined... literate, accessible introduction to Islam, No god but God has established Aslan as the most dynamic voice of liberal Islam in the United States.”

            TICKETS: Required. May be purchased in the following ways:


            PHONE: 949.548.2411

            IN PERSON: Newport Beach Central Library, weekdays, 9am-5pm


            • #7
              Reza Aslan Talks Iran on “The Daily Show”



              • #8
                Reza Aslan

                On Daily Show with Jon Stewart

                Aslan's new book is "How to Win a Cosmic War: God, Globalization, and the End of the War on Terror" based on which it seems Osama bin Laden's goal of recreating the globe is as likely as Aslan becoming Angelina Jolie's boy toy



                • #9
                  Hameh daran az abe gelalood mahi migiran...if nothing else it brings you fame and fortune..
                  I would be true, for there are those who trust me;
                  I would be pure, for there are those who care;
                  I would be strong, for there is much to suffer;
                  I would be brave, for there is much to dare.
                  I would be friend of all—the foe—the friendless;
                  I would be giving and forget the gift;
                  I would be humble, for I know my weakness;
                  I would look up and laugh—and love—and lift.
                  Howard Walter


                  • #10
                    Future of Western Relations with Muslim World
                    Reza Aslan: Who's in charge in Iran?

                    FORA TV: Political commentator Reza Aslan argues that while he believes President Obama handled the election protests in Iran "perfectly," the situation in the Islamic Republic has since changed dramatically since that time. Aslan says that political turmoil in Iran goes much deeper than the Green Revolution, and suggests "it's a mistake to think we know who's in charge over there."