Our Founder

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is the founder and Chairman of The Cordoba Initiative, a multi-national, multi faith organization dedicated to improving Muslim-West relations. He has engaged in outreach to moderates of all faith traditions, engaging in interfaith dialogue and forging connections of trust and mutual support.

In 1997, he also co- founded the American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA); the first Muslim organization committed to building bridges between Muslims and the American public by elevating the discourse on Islam through educational outreach, interfaith collaboration, culture and arts.

Background: Born of Egyptian parentage and educated in England, Egypt, and Malaysia, Imam Feisal holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Columbia University in New York and a Master of Science in Plasma Physics from Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey.

Published Work: What’s Right with Islam Is What’s Right with America (HarperCollins, 2005); Islam: A Sacred Law (Threshold Books, 2000); Islam: A Search for Meaning (Mazda Publishers,1996); “What is Islamic Law?” Mercer Law Review (2006); “Justification & Theory of Sharia Law: How the American Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights and Constitution are Consistent with Islamic Jurisprudence” University of St. Thomas Law (2010); Moving the Mountain: Beyond Ground Zero to a New Vision of Islam in America (Free Press, 2012); and Defining Islamic Statehood: Measuring and Indexing Contemporary Muslim States (Palgrave, 2015).

Full List of Publications by Imam Feisal

Download Justification & Theory of Sharia Law (PDF)

Awards: Alliance for International Conflict Prevention and Resolution (AICPR); Annual Alliance Peace Builder Award ; the Annual James Parks Morton Interfaith Center of New York award; Open Center of New York Interfaith Award (2010), Arianna Huffington’s “2010 Game Changer” Award, and was listed as one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers of 2010 by Foreign Policy Magazine; TIME magazine included him among the 100 most influential people of the world in 2011; along with his wife, Daisy Khan, the Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award presented by the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (2011); the Search for Common Ground for Interfaith Diplomacy (2012); and most recently the Faith-in-Action Award by the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy (ICRD) (2014).

As Imam of Masjid al-Farrah, a mosque located in Lower Manhattan, he preached a message of understanding between people of all faith traditions.

Imam Feisal sits on the Board of Trustees of the Islamic Center of New York, serves as an advisor to the Interfaith Center of New York, and is a member of the World Economic Forum Council of 100 Leaders (Islamic-West dialogue).

A leading voice of moderation, Imam Feisal has appeared regularly at the Council on Foreign Relations and the World Economic Forum (Davos). He has been quoted widely in leading media, including BBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, Fox News, New York Times, Washington Post, Frontline, Huffington Post, Daily Beast and Foreign Policy.

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