Conversations at the Center

Islam and Pluralism/a conversation with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is the founder of the Cordoba Initiative, an independent, multi-faith and multi-national project that works with state and non-state actors to improve Muslim-West relations. Under his leadership, the Cordoba Initiative seeks to develop dialogue and solutions that address strategic areas of conflict impacting local and global security.

In 1984, Rauf became Imam of Masjid al-Farah, a New York City mosque located 12 blocks from Ground Zero. In 1997, he founded the American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA), the first Muslim organization committed to bringing American Muslims and non-Muslims together through programs in academia, policy, current affairs, and culture. He is a Trustee of the Islamic Center of New York and a Vice Chair of the Interfaith Center of New York.

Frequently asked to comment on issues pertaining to Islam and the West, Imam Feisal has spoken at the Council on Foreign Relations and the World Economic Forum (Davos), and is regularly quoted in national and international media such as CNN, BBC, The New York Times, Washington Post, Frontline and Foreign Policy.

Born in Kuwait to Egyptian parents and educated in England, Egypt, and Malaysia, Imam Feisal holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Columbia University in New York and a Master of Science in Plasma Physics from Steven Institute of Technology in New Jersey. He speaks English, Arabic, and Malay.

Published Work 

Moving the Mountain: Beyond Ground Zero to a New Vision of Islam in America (Free Press, 2012)

"Justification & Theory of Sharia Law: How the American Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights and Constitution are Consistent with Islamic Jurisprudence" University of St. Thomas Law (2010)

"What is Islamic Law?" Mercer Law Review (2006)

What's Right with Islam Is What's Right with America (HarperCollins, 2005)

Islam: A Sacred Law (Threshold Books, 2000);

Islam: A Search for Meaning (Mazda Publishers,1996)


 Alliance for International Conflict Prevention and Resolution (AICPR)

Annual Alliance Peace Builder Award

Annual James Parks Morton Interfaith Center of New York Award

Open Center of New York Interfaith Award

Top 100 Global Thinkers of 2010 by Foreign Policy Magazine

TIME Magazine 100 Most Influential People of the World in 2011

Unitarian Universalist Service Committee's Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award (with Daisy Khan)


Thursday, October 25, 2012 - 1:30pm