In this inspiring narrative, one of this country’s most important Muslim leaders reveals the story of his life and his faith, and why Islam is good for America. As the religious leader of the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn, Michigan, Imam Hassan Qazwini serves the largest Muslim congregation in the United States. His dramatic journey to these shores began in 1971, when his father’s anti-Baathist views forced his family to flee from Saddam’s Iraq to Kuwait and then to war-torn Iran. Then, in 1992, with his father’s blessing, he left for the United States, a place where young Muslims were seeking spiritual guidance and where his children could grow up in the peace Qazwini had been denied.
First in California and then in Michigan, Qazwini saw a shocking new world in which leaders were openly mocked, women’s bodies were on display in public, and Christian symbols were disparaged without consequence. He also saw a land in which the lack of a common faith necessitated a great effort to create a shared community. By counseling American Muslims–and sharing his religion with those of other beliefs–he came to feel at home in the country he already loved, and he became a trusted advisor to local and national politicians.