A public lecture with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf

What does it take to change the relationship between the West and the Muslim world?

Presented by The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre/UniSA International and The Migrant Resource Centre
Tuesday 12 July 2005

If you would like to purchase the Imam's book "What’s Right With Islam Is What’s Right With America, A New Vision for Muslims and the West" please contact Imprints Booksellers

Audio Transcript

Muslim Cleric and leading advocate for building intercultural and interfaith bridges.

American Muslim spokesman, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf will speak on the relationship between the West and the Muslim world. He will emphasize the need for representatives of all faith communities to come together to consider what, in their faiths, invites them and constrains them in seeking dialogue and common ground with those who hold different religious beliefs.

He will explore strategies to enhance interfaith cooperation for sustainable peace.

“We have come to affirm the value of dialogue – and especially religious dialogue´éżboth for the shaping of shared convictions and for the action that we can accomplish together. Further, we have deepened our belief that effective public engagement around the major issues of our day can include, and in fact requires, our religious voices. From our own experience, we affirm that multiple religious voices, and especially the Abrahamic religious voices, in dialogue can serve our deepest common good.

“We believe, most importantly, that common religious, moral, and policy grounds can be found in an exchange among those voices.” Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf

Associated lectures

Islam and the status of women: delivered by Sharifah Zuriah Aljeffri


Founder and CEO of ASMA Society (American Sufi Muslim Association) and Imam of Masjid Al-Farah, a mosque in New York City, twelve blocks from Ground Zero. He has dedicated his life to building bridges between Muslims and the West and is a leader in the effort to build religious pluralism and integrate Islam into modern American society. By establishing ASMA in 1997, he created the first American organisation committed to bringing Muslims and non-Muslims together through programs in interfaith, culture, arts, academia and current affairs. As Imam of Masjid Al-Farah, he preaches a message of peace and understanding between people, regardless of creed, nationality or political beliefs.

Imam Feisal is the architect of the Cordoba Initiative, an interreligious blueprint for improving relations between America and the Muslim world and pursuing Middle East peace. As a tireless advocate for an ecumenical solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he has impressed his vision on US lawmakers and administration officials, most recently as member of the National Interreligious Initiative For Peace in Washington DC. Regarded as one of the world’s most eloquent and erudite Muslim leaders, Imam Feisal speaks frequently at major international conferences, including the Fortune/Aspen Institute Annual Conference in Colorado and the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. In addition, his ability to motivate religious novices and experts alike has made him a popular teacher of Islam and Sufism at many respected institutions, including the Chautauqua Institution New York Center for Religious Inquiry at St. Bartholomew’s Church and the New York Seminary.

Imam Feisal is a member of the World Economic Forum's Council of 100 Leaders and the Board of Trustees of the Islamic Center of New York. He is also an advisor to the Interfaith Center of New York. His published writing includes the books Islam: A Search for Meaning, and Islam: A Sacred Law. His latest book, What's Right With Islam: A New Vision for Muslims and the West, was released in May 2004. He has appeared as a commentator in most major international media outlets you care to imagine.

Imam Feisal was born in Kuwait in 1948 into an Egyptian family steeped in religious scholarship. He was educated in England and Malaysia and has a degree in physics from Columbia University. He lives in New York with his wife Daisy Khan.

While the views presented by speakers within The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre public program are their own and are not necessarily those of either the University of South Australia, or The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre, they are presented in the interest of open debate and discussion in the community and reflect our themes of: Strengthening our Democracy - Valuing our Diversity - Building our Future. The Hawke Centre reserves the right to change their program at any time without notice.