diversity & race | February 02, 2017

“A Call for Creative Courage”: Four Muslim Speakers on Fighting Islamophobia

What does it mean to be a Muslim in America—or in the world—today? And what will life look like in the wake of Trump’s travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries? Below are four Muslim speakers—a stand-up comic, a New York Times op-ed writer, a halal butcher, and a #1 bestselling author—who challenge Islamophobia and paint a rich, accurate, and deeply human portrait of Muslim life.


Reza Aslan

Why American TV needs a Muslim Modern Family


“Cable news’s favorite Muslim” Reza Aslan eloquently pushes back against Islamophobia any way he can, starting with stories. As he explains here, stories on TV and in movies have the power to break through prejudicial walls. Recipient of four advanced degrees, scholar of world religions, and #1 New York Times bestselling author,  Aslan is also the host of CNN’s forthcoming show, Believer, an entertaining and insightful survey of religion in contemporary societies. 



Wajahat Ali 

Long Story Short: Islam


Vocabulary is one of the first aspects of Islam to be misunderstood. In this brief video, Wajahat Ali unpacks misconceptions that surround words like “Quran,” “sharia,” “jihad,” and more. Ali is a frequent New York Times op-ed contributor and Host/Writer at the Huffington Post who uses wit and logic to counter the damaging assumptions held by many about Islam, as you can see him do in this recent CNN appearance.

Negin Farsad 

A highly scientific taxonomy of haters | Negin Farsad


Negin Farsad understands that laughter is the key to empathy, and she is very good at making people laugh. Her first film The Muslims are Coming! went deep into American communities most skeptical of her religion, showing firsthand both the prejudice and acquired understanding of a society misinformed. A TED Senior Fellow and author of the bestselling How to Make White People Laugh, Farsad speaks to life as a Muslim woman in America with brilliance and endless charm.



Bassam Tariq 

Bassam Tariq: The beauty and diversity of Muslim life


Spanning various disciplines, TED Fellow Bassam Tariq shows Muslim people in all their diversity. In his TED Talk, "The Beauty and Diversity of Muslim Life" (which has been viewed over a million times) Tariq describes his Ramadan road trip blog, 30 Mosques in 30 Days, through which he collected and recorded the myriad stories he failed to see in media and art. “The only way to beat the machine is the play by different rules,” he says, and as a viral blogger, award-winning filmmaker, and certified Halal butcher, it’s clear that Tariq is doing just that.



To book Reza Aslan, Negin Farsad, Bassam Tariq, and Wajahat Ali as the keynote speaker of your next event, contact The Lavin Agency speakers bureau.

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