Philadelphia-based Shamsud-din Ali is a local leader of the Muslim community. He speaks with Fresh Air callers about his faith, the relationship between Islam and other religions, and attitudes toward Muslims around the world.
Writer and theologian Harvey Cox says the current rise of religious fundamentalism stems in part from a disillusionment with modern technology. He has also witnessed the increasing politicization of religious messages. Cox joins Fresh Air to discuss the current state of interfaith relations in the United States and abroad.
Religion scholar and former nun Karen Armstrong. She is the author of many books, including, A History of God, an examination of the fundamentalist movement in Christian, Jewish, and Islamic faiths and Islam: A Short History. She's also the author of the bestsellers Jerusalem, and The History of God.
Leila Ahmed is Professor of Women Studies in Religion at the Harvard Divinity School. She written extensively on feminism and Islam, and is the author of a new memoir about growing up in Egypt during the 1940s and 50s. It called A Border Passage: from Cairo to America - a Woman Journey.
Noah Feldman is a professor of the New York University School of Law with a doctorate in Islamic Thought from Oxford. Until recently he was head of the constitutional team with the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance in Iraq. He is serving as an adviser as Iraq seeks to draft a new constitution. Feldman is also the author of the new book, After Jihad: America and the Struggle for Islamic Democracy. In the book he argues that it is time for Islamic democracies.
Cole is an authority on modern Islamic movements. He is professor of modern Middle East and South Asia history at the University of Michigan. His most recent book is Sacred Space and Holy War: The Politics, Culture and History of Shi`ite Islam. The book collects some of his work on the history of the Shiite branch of Islam in modern Iraq, Iran and the Persian Gulf region.
His new film, The Clay Bird, is set in 1960s Pakistan, before Bangladesh gained its independence in 1971. It tells the story of Anu, a student torn between Muslim and Hindu worlds. Masud spent much of his youth in an Islamic seminary school in Bangladesh before the war for independence. He is a founding member of the Short Film Forum, the main organization for alternative filmmakers in Bangladesh.
His new book is No God but God: The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam. The book is a call to reform, and a proposal to end the religious battle between East and West. Aslan was born in Iran and lives in the United States. He was a visiting assistant professor of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Iowa, where he got an MFA in fiction at the Writer's Workshop. Aslan has written for The Nation, Slate and The New York Times.