Reza Aslan: Unity in Diversity

TED Talk

Dr. Reza Aslan, an internationally acclaimed writer and scholar of religions, tells his own story of growing up as an Iranian-born emigre and explores the common narrative of what it means to be an American, the unity that we find in our diversity. At a time of unparalleled anti-Muslim sentiment in America, Aslan explores the current climate in the context of the history of fear and prejudice in America.


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Anahid Hojjati

Dear masoudA

by Anahid Hojjati on

I was reading the other comments and thinking about same thing that you wrote before I read your comment. Your comment is great. All is needed these days for guys like Majd and Aslan, is to be handsome, speak well, have western credentials and most importantly, a willingness not to have the plight of Iranian people as a priority. Then they are able to go around and lecture others and analyze Iran, Islam, Muslims in west, etc.

Ari Siletz


by Ari Siletz on

1. If today's Islam doesn't have a soft democratic side, it is wise to grow one out of Islamic material, as Aslan may be doing. As a scholar he understands the near impossibility of eliminating Islam, even if one were to desire it. His direct message is that America is an ever evolving entity; obliquely his talk suggests that there is hope that Islam may also evolve. To debate him, you would need to take him on as a sociologist.

2. Folks who are sincere about discouraging Islamic militancy don't mount indiscriminate attacks against the religion.      


From Day 1

by masoudA on

Aslan proved to be a creature designed to present the west a non existant soft/democratic side of Islam and the Islamic Republic.   I am just so happy to see ALL your responses (well with the exception of well expected Ari) -  proving how certain westerners who CREATE these creature fail over and over.   If you notice - people like Aslan, Hooman Majd, Trita Parsi......can hardly be considered Iranian or a practicing Moslem to begin with....

Soosan Khanoom

Excellent Presentation

by Soosan Khanoom on

Thanks Aslan ...... 

Ari Siletz

Good talk.!

by Ari Siletz on

Thanks for posting. Aslan has a well researched and a fact-based understanding of the functions of religion. 


interesting topic

by choghok on

Well, i guess he seems to be pretty logical. I think the most antimuslims are not Americans as he describes but some Iranians outside of iran.



by yolanda on



by omeedvar on

It is ironical that, in the last five decades, all Iranians that I know, from very religious Moslem families or those who pretend to be one, have married a Christian or Jew, as soon as they moved out to Western countries. I wonder if Reza's wife has converted to Islam! 


"No Veil Is Required" Lets' Show some Diversity

by Amir Normandi on

Is it about story telling? Is it about art?

Will BOOMGEN Studios host the “No veil is required” exhibit in Arizona and other states?

I have few great stories to tell through my photo series; “Hejab Exposition”, “No veil is required” and “30Y”.

Fantastic title “Unity in Diversity” lets' show some diversity. 

Amir Normandi



Maryam Hojjat

He is LOST in his little world

by Maryam Hojjat on

Concern about ISLAM!   Shame on him.

Anahid Hojjati

I agree with RB and Sean

by Anahid Hojjati on

Aslan has become worse in past couple years.


I have to admit

by Reality-Bites on

I've only seen a few clips and read a few articles by this guy, so I'm not by any means knowledgeable enough to pass any kind of definitive judgement on him.

But I will say this, based on the little that I do know, he seems far more pre-occupied and concerned about the life of Muslims and how Islam is perceived in America, than about the plight of the Iranian people under the Islamic Republic.

And I guess that's fair enough. We all have our priorities and what's important to us in life. And in Reza Aslan's case it is obviously Islam. For me, it's Iran, the Iranian people and the Iranian national identity.


"Unity in Diversity" , I

by Arthimis on

"Unity in Diversity" , I first heard this term from my Baha'i friend! It is indeed a "Baha'i" term. and a very beautiful one indeed.

PS. I personally do not believe or practice any religion...

Love & Peace 


He's such a little

by fidelio5 on



Unity in Diversity???

by ali_aaa on

I wonder where he heard it from first? ;-)


complete loser

by seannewyork on

this is the same guy that said Iran was a democarcy and the regime in Iran was fine.

Shame on him.