Zealot, Reza Aslan, Ph.D.
The hue, cry, and pious reaction over a Muslim having the audacity to write a book describing the milieu out of which the message of Jesus arose is disturbing. If this kind of logic were transferred to that of a Christian attempting to write and research Muslim personalities there would be few books to help and assist us in understanding Islamic culture. It often takes a person outside the faith to help us see ourselves as we really are.
Dr. Aslan, though a Muslim, wasn’t always so. For many years he was a Christian as are several members of his family who currently practice their Christian faith. Dr. Aslan has turned from Christianity to Islam. This religious identification change is what appears to disturb most potential readers. And why? I am told he calls to question some of the basic doctrines of Christianity. As I have not read his book yet I cannot comment on its content. However, getting an outside view of the faith is always helpful in causing each of us to question what, how and in whom we believe.
It is my belief that there are many who fear Dr. Aslan’s assertions are right and for that reason will do their best to avoid his arguments. That is sadly true of many who would hide behind their faith rather than challenge their intellect. If there be a God, this human attribute we call “intellect” was given us by Him. Would He give us something we should not use when it comes to questions of faith and, more directly, faith in God? I hope not!