When reading books, readers get a slight glimpse into an author’s mind. Some are dull, some are hilarious, and some are just the right mix of humor and seriousness. When I read Reza Aslan’s Beyond Fundamentalism, I thought parts of the book were the most boring things ever written about, which in turn made me think that Aslan himself is a very boring person…and then I actually heard the man speak.
During his presentation, which was just over an hour long, Aslan touched on many
points, some were emotional, some were blatant and to the point, and some he
left unanswered questions for the audience to really think about, which I feel
is an excellent tool to use during presentations and speeches. Some of his key points included mentioning key politicians and how they came to believe in the things they do or did, and most importantly, to me, Aslan referred to important examples throughout American history that were parallel to what is occurring in both America and the entire world today.
While still talking about aspects of America that are very touchy subjects to many people, Aslan used a sense of humor when discussing the beliefs of politicians and his own life growing up in America during the Iranian dispute with the American hostages in the 1980s. The balance between Aslan’s use of humor and seriousness sparked mixed emotions that allowed me to really think long and hard about how long Islamophobia has been existent in our nation.
In all, Aslan’s speech was very helpful and informative. Having read one of his books, I now have a deeper understanding of terms that I had never heard before this course began.