Author and former ambassador of Pakistan to the UK Akbar Ahmed appeared on the Daily Show last night to discuss his new book "Journey Into America: The Challenge of Islam." Ahmed visited over 100 mosques over America, discovering that the religion often defied American preconceptions. While "Islam is often equated to Arab," the author found a strong community of African American Muslims.
Unlike today's attitudes of intolerance and suspicion, Ahmed observes that the founding fathers maintained a deep respect for Islam. He warns that there is a "danger of history being rewritten" by modern opponents who refuse to expand their understanding.
In order to ease the current difficulties, "Muslim leadership [has] to work much harder at explaining Islam to American colleagues and friends." Ahmed claims that America and Islam are too deeply connected for the current state of affairs to continue: "we need to understand Islam very, very quickly, and as you said, bring the temperature down."
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|