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Sept. 30: Sheikh Hamza Yusuf, "the rock star of the new Muslim generation"

Fundraising dinner and talks by Sheikh Hamza Yusuf and Sheikh Abdalla Idris Ali

When: Friday 30 September, 6:30 PM

Where: Islamic Society of North America headquarters: 6555 South 750 East, Plainfield, IN 46168

Many years ago, at St. Mary’s Hospital in a small town in the state of Washington called Walla Walla, two babies were born within a few weeks of each other. One (John Clark) went on to write the e-mail and blog you are reading. The other (Mark Hanson) moved to California with his parents where he converted to Islam and now, as Sheikh Hamza Yusuf, is perhaps the most important Muslim cleric in the US. The Guardian calls him “the West’s most influential Muslim Scholar.” The Wall Street Journal calls him “the rock star of the new Muslim generation” because he attracts crowds of tens of thousands to his lectures around the world. Newsweek calls him “the Muslim moderator” because he is seen as opposing the messages of extremism and violence that many Americans associate with Islam. Writing in the US neoconservative house organ Weekly Standard, by contrast, Steve Schwartz suspects that is and always has been an extremist. Conservative Middle East expert Daniel Pipes has laid out a litmus test for moderate Muslims that Hamza Yusuf proudly proclaims he has failed.

Destiny brings these two sons of Walla Walla to Plainfield IN the evening of September 30. I will be there scribbling notes, trying to get a handle on this very important scholar. Sheikh Yusuf will be addressing a fundraising dinner for the Islamic Society of Greater Indianapolis. Tickets at the door are $25. This is a big event, if it’s possible you should try to attend. You can get information from ISNA, including phone numbers of people who might be able to provide more information.


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