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Reza Aslan

reza-medThe Clash of Monotheisms or How to Win a Cosmic War

A poll by Foreign Policy Magazine indicated that nearly 90 percent of U.S. foreign policy analysts on both the left and the right believe the United States is losing the War on Terrorism. Reza Aslan will discuss why this is the case and will offer a fresh perspective on how to move forward in the global struggle against Puritanism and violence in the Muslim World.

Reza Aslan earned a bachelor's degree in religious studies from Santa Clara University, a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard University, a Master of Fine Arts in fiction from the University of Iowa, and is currently a doctoral candidate in history of religions at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Until recently, he was both visiting assistant professor of Islamic and Middle East studies at the University of Iowa and the Truman Capote Fellow in Fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He has served as a legislative assistant for the Friends’ Committee on National Legislation in Washington, D.C., and was elected president of Harvard's Chapter of the World Conference on Religion and Peace, a U.N. organization committed to solving religious conflicts throughout the world.

He has written for the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, Slate.com, the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, and the Nation and has appeared on "Meet The Press," "Hardball," "The Daily Show," and "Nightline."

No god but God: The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam is his first book. It provides a history of Islam from the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad to the present-day split between those Muslims trying to reconcile traditional Islamic values with the realities of the modern world and those espousing a more fundamental and doctrinaire viewpoint. He is an articulate spokesman for Islam, able to go beyond the ethnic stereotypes of Eastern and Western societies.

Born in Iran, he now lives in Santa Monica and New Orleans.