“Ask a Muslim Anything” is a program I’ve been developing with great success. I’ve found that most people, even those critical of Islam and Muslims , when engaged in small scale or in one-one-one conversation, are willing to listen and engage with Muslims if that engagement occurs in what are perceived to be safe places: houses of worship, libraries, schools, civic organizations, etc., and I speak to them not as a scholar or academic but as a neighbor, fellow citizen and person of faith.
To that end I’ve been traveling, with increasing frequency, throughout New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and Maine at the invitation of local communities to speak about my life, what it’s like to be Muslim in America, how I came to convert to Islam, about the religion of Islam and its history – especially in America – and about the Middle East, terrorism and associated political and social issues.
Nothing is off the table, I’m having fun doing it and I’m learning more about about this great country and my wonderful neighbors than I ever expected when I started this venture.
I think this is an important model; while there’ll always be the odd person who will refuse to engage – or whose mind is closed to dialogue – the vast majority of people want to know who their neighbors are and what they believe.Most will, I believe – and my experience suggests – eventually come to understand that we’ve all been made diverse peoples so that we will come to know each other – And that to know each other we must reach out and talk to each other.
If you or community are interested in this program please contact me with any questions or comments. I’m committed to addressing your specific questions, concerns and issues and I look forward to our discussions.
NB: I also thank you in advance for an honorarium which supports my work and makes possible my being able to continue this work in the future.
Please contact me with any questions or comments: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Selected commentary about “Ask a Muslim Anything:”
Recent commentary on NHPR:
Portsmouth Public Library: ‘Ask a Muslim Anything’ draws a large crowd:
Profile, Ask This Muslim Anything, in the Portsmouth Herald and ExeterNewsLetter:
‘Ask a Muslim Anything’ Draws crowd in Freedom. “Robert Azzi kept his word Tuesday evening when he delivered his “Ask a Muslim Anything” presentation at Freedom Town Hall.
An introductory OpEd I wrote promoting an “Ask a Muslim Anything” program at the Interfaith Campus of the Etz Hayim Synagogue and the Church of the Transfiguration in Derry, New Hampshire.
Program at First Church of Salem (MA), where I was the first Muslim in the church’s 387-year-old history to offer the Sunday sermon (khutbah) – after the ahdan was called in the church also for the first time. An “Ask a Muslim Anything” program followed after coffee-hour: Scores Brave the Storm to “Ask a Muslim Anything”
In Peterborough, NH I offered a two-part weekend program. On Saturday ,at the Mariposa Museum, I presented a program on perceptions of Islam; on Sunday, at All Saints Episcopal Church, I did an “Ask a Muslim Anything” program.
Return to: theotherazzi.wordpress.com