diversity | April 29, 2013

Building Bridges: Reza Aslan Honored For Improving East-West Relations

Reza Aslan, a New York Times bestselling author and diversity speaker, doesn't pull any punches when tackling misconceptions about Muslims and Islam. His well-researched representations of these commonly misunderstood groups are accessible and provide clarity. In short, he builds bridges across gaps in understanding—mainly between the Eastern and Western worlds. That's why the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding is presenting him with the aptly named Media Bridge-Builder Award this month.

The award is presented to "journalists and media personalities whose work focuses public attention on issues of human rights and intergroup relations." Joyce S. Dubensky, the CEO of Tanenbaum, says Reza is a perfect fit for the distinction in a recent news release. "All of Reza’s accomplishments—from his books, to his media efforts, to his activism and interfaith work—share a theme," Dubensky says. They "all inform, build bridges of respect and enable greater understanding of Islam and religious extremism." Further: "We are particularly excited about honoring Reza. He is tackling hard issues and does it in a way that allows people to listen and learn. And that’s both unusual and critical if we are to achieve mutual respect."

Aslan, is an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and the founder of AslanMedia.com. His online journal for news and entertainment about the Middle East and the greater world provides a platform for understanding the key issues dividing society today. He appears regularly on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report, and authored the international bestseller No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam. In his talks, he addresses the key issues presented in his research and his writing, and shows audiences that achieving peaceful understanding comes from moving beyond irrational fears to find commonalities between people across the world.

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economics | April 28, 2013