Experts examine myths regarding American Muslims and address fears of Islam in the United States.
Daisy Khan is Executive Director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA), a non-profit organization dedicated to developing an American Muslim identity and to building bridges between the Muslim community and general public through dialogues in faith, identity, culture, and the arts. Ms. Khan mentors young Muslims on challenges of assimilation, gender, religion and modernity, and intergenerational differences. In the aftermath of 9/11, she created interfaith programs to emphasize commonalities among the Abrahamic faith traditions, such as a groundbreaking theater presentation, Same Difference, and the interfaith Cordoba Bread Fest.
To prioritize the improvement of Muslim-West relations and the advancement of Muslim women globally, Ms. Khan has launched two cutting edge intra-faith programs to start movements of change agents among the two disempowered majorities of the Muslim world: youth and women. The MLT: Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow and WISE: Women's Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality programs were launched on an international scale in Doha (MLT) and in Malaysia (WISE). Both programs seek to convene, empower, and build networks in their target groups, and to facilitate the emergence of a leadership that speaks with a credible, humane, and equitable voice in the global Muslim community.
Ms. Khan frequently lectures and debates in the United States and internationally, having debated Christopher Hitchens on National Public Radio. After the Danish cartoon crisis, she moderated a discussion in Denmark between young Muslims and Flemming Rose, the original publisher of the controversial cartoons. In May 2007 she became the first Muslim woman to speak at Thanksgiving Square in Dallas, Texas on the National Day of Prayer. Ms. Khan frequently comments on important issues in the media, and has appeared on ABC, PBS, BBC World, CNN, Fox News, National Geographic, Al Jazeerah, and the Hallmark Channel. She has also been quoted in numerous print publications, such as Time Magazine, Newsweek, the Chicago Tribune, New York Times, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Saudi Gazette, The National and Khaleej Times. In July 2007 Ms. Khan appeared on the cover of Newsweek magazine along with 40 members of ASMA. In the same issue of the magazine, she also co-wrote an article on the symmetry between core Islamic values and the constitution of the United States.
Daisy Khan is the recipient of many awards, including the Interfaith Center's Award for Promoting Peace and Interfaith Understanding, the Auburn Seminary's Lives of Commitment Award, Hunt Alternatives Prime Movers Award, and Women's E-News 21st Century Leaders for the 21st century. Born in Kashmir, India, she spent the first 25 years of her career as an interior architect at various Fortune 500 companies. In 2005 she decided to dedicate herself fully to elevating the discourse on Islam, and to improving the lives of Muslims and non-Muslims globally through ASMA and its sister organization, the Cordoba Initiative.
Eboo Patel is founder and executive director of the Interfaith Youth Core, a Chicago-based international nonprofit that promotes interfaith cooperation. His blog, The Faith Divide, explores what drives faiths apart and what brings them together. He is the author of Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation.
An American Muslim of Indian heritage, Eboo has a doctorate in the sociology of religion from Oxford University, where he studied on a Rhodes scholarship. He is on the Religious Advisory Committee of the Council on Foreign Relations, the National Committee of the Aga Khan Foundation and the Advisory Board of Duke University's Islamic Studies Center. Eboo is an Ashoka Fellow, part of a select network of social entrepreneurs with ideas that could change the world
Calvin Sims focuses on the development of a free and responsible press worldwide. His work helps foster new and innovative models of reporting, disseminating and financing quality news, with a concentration on social justice issues, diversity of voices, standards and ethics, and press freedoms.
Prior to joining the Ford Foundation in 2007, Calvin spent two decades at The New York Times. He was a director, producer and foreign correspondent and played a central role in the newspaper's expansion into television, documentaries and the Web. He anchored the Times's nightly television news program, hosted a weekly podcast on foreign affairs and produced a critically acclaimed documentary for PBS on the rise of radical Islam in Indonesia. As a foreign correspondent, Calvin was based in Buenos Aires, Tokyo, Seoul and Jakarta.
A graduate of Yale University, Calvin has held the Edward R. Murrow Press Fellowship at the Council on Foreign Relations and the Ferris Professorship of Journalism at Princeton University. He also conducted workshops and cultural exchange programs for journalists in Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan as part of an effort by American University and the U.S. State Department to resolve historical conflicts.
Mohamed Younis is a Senior Analyst at the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies in Washington, D.C..