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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 6/2/15

The Media vs Reality, Part 1

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   2 comments, In Series: Media vs Reality
Message James Quandy
I am hoping this will be the first part of an ongoing series in which the "venerable" personages of the American media (and, who knows, perhaps we will go outside the US...), who have aggregated unto themselves the mantel of Truth, Authority & Righteousness (with absolutely no credentials or qualifications whatsoever to do so), come directly up against an individual who actually has earned at least some right, to be so regarded.
Our first installment is an episode of the "Young Turks", hosted by Cenk Uygur, which focuses on an encounter a couple of CNN "journalists" had with the Islamic scholar Reza Aslan not too long ago.
Cenk Uygur sets up the segment (in the video below) by speaking about an earlier "Young Turks" program on which Bill Maher complained about how little discussion in the media (particularly by liberals) there was about Islamic violence and oppression. Mr. Uygur apparently regarded this charge so absurd that he decided to devote a substantial amount of this show to displaying just how phenomenally well Prof. Aslan disproved Maher's unwarranted criticism.
For those of us not familiar with Dr. Aslan, below is some basis for my assertion that he has some right to the claim "knowing what he is talking about." Also, as Dr. Aslan himself says, he spends most of his time travelling to and in Islamic countries in order to write and talk about them...
"Dr. Reza Aslan, an internationally acclaimed writer and scholar of religions, is author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, which has been translated into twenty-eight languages.

He is the founder of AslanMedia, a social media network for news and entertainment about the Middle East and the world, and co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of BoomGen Studios, the premier entertainment brand for creative content from and about the Greater Middle East.

Aslan's degrees include a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies from Santa Clara University (Major focus: New Testament; Minor: Greek) , a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard University (Major focus: History of Religions), a PhD in the Sociology of Religions from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Iowa, where he was named the Truman Capote Fellow in Fiction. An Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, he is also a member of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities and the Pacific Council on International Policy. He serves on the board of directors of the Ploughshares Fund, which gives grants for peace and security issues; Narrative Four, which connects people through the exchange of stories; PEN USA, which champions the rights of writers under siege around the world; the Los Angeles Review of Books, and the Levantine Cultural Center, which builds bridges between Americans and the Arab/Muslim world through the arts.

Aslan's first book is the International Bestseller, No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam, which has been translated into seventeen languages, and named one of the 100 most important books of the last decade. He is also the author of How to Win a Cosmic War (published in paperback as Beyond Fundamentalism: Confronting Religious Extremism in a Globalized Age), as well as editor of two volumes: Tablet and Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East, and Muslims and Jews in America: Commonalties, Contentions, and Complexities.

Aslan is Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside and serves on the board of trustees for the Chicago Theological Seminary and The Yale Humanist Community, which supports atheists, agnostics, and humanists at home and abroad. A member of the American Academy of Religions, the Society of Biblical Literature, and the International Qur'anic Studies Association, Aslan's previous academic positions include the Wallerstein Distinguished Professor of Religion, Community and Conflict at Drew University in New Jersey (2012-2013), and Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion at the University of Iowa (2000-2003).

Born in Iran, he lives in Los Angeles with his wife, author and entrepreneur, Jessica Jackley and their three sons."

(Article changed on June 2, 2015 at 11:26)

(Article changed on June 2, 2015 at 11:28)

(Article changed on June 2, 2015 at 11:50)

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Former small business owner now retired.

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