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The Optimistic Muslim - Series 7





American Muslims Equals American Islam!
 
Having trouble cutting through all the back-and-forth rhetoric about Muslims in America?  Do you wish you could just know what was really going on?  Trust a New York Muslim like Imam Feisal Rauf, leader of the Cordoba Initiative, to give us all a reality check: American Muslims equals American Islam!  Muslim Diversity has been a fact of life since Islam began, with all those different perspectives combining to make Muslims better people everywhere, here included.
Join the Optimistic Muslim, Dr. David Liepert, as he talks with Imam Rauf about what it’s been like to be a Muslim leader–and sometimes a Muslim “lightning rod” as well–in these turbulent times.  Hear what Imam Rauf considers to be our best path forward; how America’s Muslims provide a positive role in America and around the world; and shares segments from the new book he’s working on that explains it all, Moving The Mountain.
 
The misconceptions about Muslims and Islamic culture are boundless.  Dr. David Liepert begins by sharing a personal experience in which he was chastised for wearing a necktie (what a fellow Muslim considered to be a “Christian symbol” of Muslim oppression).  Have you had a similar experience?  Has your family or friends?  One of the biggest misconceptions in recent history was the true meaning of the “Ground Zero” Mosque.  Imam Feisal Rauf explains just what he had intended–the true message of his elaborate project–when he brought forth the idea to the public.
 
“The wost part is Muslims having myths about their own faith!” says Imam Rauf, addressing that many of the “wrong” ideas about Islam come from the followers themselves.
 
Could it be that by pursuing their own authentic Islam, by following Muhammad’s exemplary practice, alongside their American aspirations towards the highest ideals we all hold dear, America’s Muslims have got something good to offer to everyone?  Tune in!


Dealing With The Reality Of Jesus
 
Join the Optimistic Muslim, Dr. David Liepert, author of Muslim, Christian AND Jew: Finding a Path to Peace Our Faiths Can Share, as he talks with Christian Evangelical Missionary to Muslims Carl Medearis, author of Muslims, Christians, and Jesus, about how Muslims and Christians can both share the world our God has Made–and share Jesus together–in peace!
 
Just who Jesus was exactly remains the great religious dividing line between Muslims, Christians and Jews; with most Christians believing him both God and Messiah, most Muslims believing him to be the Messiah but not God, and most Jews believing he’s neither.  However, most Muslims and Christians can at least agree that he’ll lead us all when he returns as we near the end of time–even though we have absolutely no idea how we’re going to get there! So the question remains: How can Muslims and Christians best navigate the doctrinal minefield of our religious differences, deal with how our different beliefs should affect what we are becoming, and how our different doctrines affect what we do?
 
“I wrote [my] book as an Evangelical Christian to Evangelical Christians to say ‘Let’s stop evangelizing,” says Carl Medearis of his book, Muslims, Christians, and Jesus.  His recent article on CNN, “My Take: Why Evangelicals Should Stop Evangelizing,” caused quite a stir, instantly becoming one of the most commented upon articles CNN online has ever had!  Medearis explains the reasoning behind his controversial stance, and gives listeners a behind-the-scenes look at the article that rocked the world toward the end of July.
 
What if there was an end to the “my religion can beat up your religion” attitude?  What if hearing the “Good News” no longer caused feelings of anger and resentment?  Can we get past the view of Jesus as a “white Rambo from Texas?”
 
Take a moment out of your day to calmly listen to this week’s episode.  You may be pleasantly surprised by what you hear!


OccupyWallStreet? OccupyJudaism!!
 
When Daniel Sieradski, New Media Activist, Jewish Israeli/Palestinian human-rights advocate, artist, writer, and director of Jew It Yourself: An Every Day Guide to Do It Yourself Jewish Living saw his parents lose everything in the “Great Recession” he knew he had to add yet another line to his list of achievements, and so began his growing role in the OccupyWallStreet movement, helping lead the OccupyJudaism arm.  And now, Daniel is Dr. David Liepert’s guest on The Optimistic Muslim.
 
99% of Jews are right there with 99% of Muslims, 99% of Americans, 99% of Christians, and 99% of everyone else: Our communities have all lost out while the rich have gotten richer, the poor have gotten poorer, and “every man for himself” has replaced the ideal at the heart of all our dreams–that the freedom to work for yourself, coupled with a personal commitment to working together, brings more success, security, and happiness to everyone.
 
With his own parents going through a heartbreaking foreclosure on their long-time home, Daniel Sieradaski longed for a solution and a way to speak out…and along came Occupy Wallstreet.  Daniel became involved and describes his experiences throughout the episode.  But what is the real message of the Occupy movement?  And what has happened to the “American Dream?”
 
Dr. David Liepert and Daniel Sieradaski discuss not only the political and cultural relevance of the Occupy Movement, but the religious aspects as well.  They address the religious controversy that has been brought up time and again: How would Jesus really feel about Occupy Wallstreet?
Join the Optimistic Muslim as he talks to Daniel Sieradski about the lessons Judaism teaches about community living and financial responsibility–lessons that have been handed down from the bankers of Babylon!  If we’re all in this together, then we should all get out of it together too; here, there and everywhere. Tune in and find out how!


Halal Sex! Just how close does al-Sharia come to declaring “Anything Goes!”?
 
With all the fake Fatwa’s making the rounds, declaring women shouldn’t even touch cucumbers, you might wonder what Islamic scholars really have to say about sex.
FAIR WARNING!! THIS SHOW IS SEXUALLY EXPLICIT, OPENLY DISCUSSING SOME SEXUAL PRACTICES EVEN A DOCTOR [me (Dr. David Liepert)] HAD TO LOOK UP!!  Do not listen to this episode with anyone you’re not comfortable discussing the most delicate matters with!
 
Imam Habeeb Alli is one Muslim scholar who isn’t afraid to declare the truth: That Islam’s views on sex have done a complete 180 since the time of Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and that it’s time to change them back. When Islam began marital sex was one of the greatest joys Muslim men and women experienced, with literally almost “no holds barred” between consenting adults. Now, on the other hand, much of the Muslim Ummah’s no better than the rest of humanity, with repressive views on so-called “guilty pleasures”–such as masturbation–resulting in diminished Muslim marriages that have lessened the happiness in Muslim homes and weakened the Muslim world.
 
What can we learn from Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and his wife’s own marriage?  Imam Habeeb Alli and Dr. Liepert share their thoughts on Muhammad’s (Peace be upon him) own erotic relationship, the fantasies he shared with his wife, and how even his wife–and all Muslim women–have certain needs to be attended to.  Can we really serve God by serving each other?
 
Listen in as Dr. David Liepert and Imam Habeeb Alli, an executive member of the Canadian Council of Imams, have an open, honest, and unexpurgated conversation about the real role of sexual pleasure in Islamic practice and what’s gone wrong with Muslim teaching on the subject. Imam Habeeb also introduces his new book, Intimacy and the Sacred in Muslim Communities, proclaiming how we Muslims can “get our groove back” once and for all!


Where’s Safe, When You’re Stuck Between Franklin Graham and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?
 
While Middle-Eastern Arabs are throwing out dictators and demanding democratic freedoms, are some Christians “girding their loins” for Armageddon?  And are there “Armageddonist Muslims” out there who are on the same side?  Jeff Burns of Peace-Catalyst, an organization dedicated to “waging peace in the name of Jesus,” knows a thing or two about both sides of Christianity’s response to Islam.  Burns, moved from hating Muslims in 2005 by God’s amazing response to his prayer for peace, has become a crusader for co-operative faith, serving the Prince of Peace by seeking peace for the sake of us all.
 
Listen in as Dr. David Liepert, the Optimistic Muslim, speaks with Jeff Burns about Christian and Muslim end-time prophecy, how it’s affecting politics in the world today, and how wrong both sides who think the world is ending “soon” likely are–particularly if you take the time to ask a Rabbi about interpreting Jewish Prophecies in the Jewish Bible!
 
Just how pervasive is this crazy idea that believers can make the world a better place by killing each other?  How high up our Nation’s chain of command does that insanity reach?  (And what can we all do about it?)  “We’re not too far from goosestepping,” says Jeff Burns, addressing the oppression supposed Christian communities force upon Muslims and those following other n0n-Christian religions.  Preventing Muslims from building Mosques–or to worship publicly–is it really so different from Hitler’s treatment of the Jewish?
 
Proving once again that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, best cured by bringing in a broader and more inclusive perspective, listen in to hear how different religions might actually be meant by God to work together to the benefit of everyone, instead of for “members only.”
 
If God’s so smart, maybe he knew what he was doing when he made us different, after all!





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