For the better part of the last 10 years, many Muslims in America have been searching for ways to change the image of Islam. But every time there is a terrorist attack committed by a Muslim, it sets back years of work by activists and decades of Muslim integration into American society.
Recently the Tony Blair Foundation ran an essay contest in which the young people were asked to write about their "Friend of a different faith or belief," what resulted were extraordinary essays from around the world.
Religious faith has a major part to play in shaping the values which guide the modern world. It can and should be a force for progress. I also think that understanding our increasingly globalized world today requires an understanding of religion and people of religious faith.