Akbar Ahmed Writes Opinion Piece on "Debate Around Islam"

June 2, 2003

Source: Charlotte Observer

On June 2, 2003 the Charlotte Observer ran an opinion piece by Akbar Ahmed in which he wrote, "If you appear in the U.S. media with a Muslim name like mine, you live suspended between hope and despair, compassion and anger, acceptance and prejudice, inclusion and exclusion. You are blindly associated with the actions of Muslims all over the world, and your religion itself appears to be on trial. Some letters sent by strangers in late April and early May illustrate this unfortunate reality... The letters represent two distinct responses to the debate around Islam... The first two letters hint at pain and tears, love and compassion, the second two at anger and confrontation... Reading these letters, I was once again reminded of how complicated and dangerously divided our world is, and how the debate around Islam is as much about Muslims as it is about Jews and Christians; that we are all suspended between hope and despair."