Islam gallery 06

Islam gallery 06

6. Asra Q. Nomani

Nomani is the author of "Standing Alone in Mecca" and an activist for Islamic reformation and Muslim women's rights.

I get clarity about what Islam can be through the fact that one of Allah's 99 names is Al-Wadud, or "The Loving One." While it's easy to demonize Islam based on the actions of extremists, in reality our faith is founded on progressive principles of tolerance and inclusion. In a book of mine I offered "99 Precepts for Opening Hearts, Minds and Doors in the Muslim World" inspired by Allah's names. The first precept--live with an open heart to others--is based on the name Al-Wadud. What sets apart the American Muslim experience is we can stand up to extremists without fearing violent retaliation from the fanatical Muslims we oppose. With this freedom, we must continue to speak out against those who commit acts of terror in the name of Islam.

Related Features