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08/06/2010 02:57 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Akbar Ahmed On Jon Stewart: Americans' Perception Of Islam Is Way Off Base (VIDEO)

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."

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The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Akbar Ahmed
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