The man who just might hold the key to better relations with the Muslim world is a mere 22 minute drive down Massachusetts Avenue from the White House’s Oval office. His name is Akbar Ahmed and he’s a former Pakistani ambassador to Great Britain and Ireland, a distinguished professor at American University in DC and, in the words of the BBC, “the world’s foremost expert on Islam”.
Ambassador Ahmed believes he knows the key to the US having an understanding of the Muslim world, and thereby a path to reducing tensions and dispelling erroneous impressions about his faith.
What would he tell President Trump if he had 10 minutes alone with him in the Oval Office? “America needs to get back to what makes America great and only you, Mr. President, can do that.”
Of course, there is more to it than that, and the Islamic scholar is happy to explain. His credentials come from life experiences and more than a dozen award-winning books he has written, as well as documentaries and plays he has produced.
Ambassador Ahmed is available to discuss his thoughts at every opportunity on college campuses, think tank meetings and in corporate boardrooms and at conferences.
Ambassador Ahmed just published his acclaimed “Journey into Europe: Islam, Integration and Identity” which is a sweeping exploration of Islam in Europe.
His expertise has been sought by Oprah Winfrey, The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart, CNN and literally dozens of other national programs. He’s had the honor of discussing his ideas with the late Princess Diana and various world leaders.
Dr. Ahmed, the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University, is seen as the world’s “go to” expert on issues that beg for better understanding of Islam.
“If President Trump can make gains with the Muslim world, he not only makes gains for his party, he makes gains for the US and the entire world,” says Ahmed. “He is in a unique position.”
Since arriving at American University shortly before the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks on American soil, Ahmed has been in constant demand as a speaker at world forums and university campuses. He took time off from his busy travel schedule, however, to complete his most ambitious literary project yet—the recently released “Journey into Europe: Islam, Immigration, and Identity”. A critically acclaimed playwright, Ahmed has written and staged around the world the plays “Noor” and “The Trial of Dara Shikoh” as well as a one-man play “From Waziristan to Washington: A Muslim at the Crossroads.”
An accomplished poet, Ahmed’s works were broadcast from the Library of Congress in “The Poet and the Poem” podcast series.
Professor Ahmed is currently working on his latest play, “Gandhi and Jinnah Return Home”. Muhammad Ali Jinnah is considered the founder and “Father of Pakistan”.