As a Jewish Mexican-American, Aaron has lived a life between the south side of Chicago’s Hyde Park and the sprawling farmlands in Indiana. The son of two scientists, Aaron spent years committed to “our obligation to rationalism”, dismissing piety as an opiate and religion a stick. It wasn’t until a lecture on quantum singularities in his college astrophysics class that he found reason and faith reconcilable.
Listening to his professor lecture on black holes while in his “Evolution of the Solar System” class, Aaron thought the concept of black holes paralleled what he’d read in the Zohar about the creation of the world. Considered the most important work in the Kabbalah, or Jewish mysticism, the Zohar discusses “a single infinitesimal point of immense density and energy which could not be seen.”
Concluding that rationalism could be found in religion, Aaron felt that he had the obligation to explore Judaism and theology in general. Eventually, he switched his major to Jewish Studies and traveled to Israel for the first time on a Taglit-Birthright Israel trip.
It was during his education at the University of Chicago that Aaron also developed an interest in politics and interned for former U.S. Rep. Rahm Emanuel, now President Obama’s chief of staff. Aaron is currently at the University of Chicago’s Newberger Hillel, where he serves as Engagement Associate.
Dr. Bikram Lamba a political and business strategist has over 40 years of experience in diverse fields covering civil service, teaching, management of organizations as profit centers and as a management consultant. He has a futuristic vision that is pragmatic realities and an attitude that is multi-disciplinary, multi- functional, multi-cultural and holistic. He is a strong community activist, a reputed TV commentator, a broadcaster and TV commentator. Dr Lamba has published 4 books, written over 1000 articles and delivered over 500 workshops, seminars and lectures on various economic and developmental subjects.
Jason Rines is the CEO of Raging Debate, LLP.
Jeffrey Imm is an activist and founder of R.E.A.L
Hayutin is an Act! for America, San Diego Chapter Leader. He is a member of a three man team that lead the research into junior high textbook inaccuracies on Islam, a proposal that has since reached the State Board of Education.
Mudar Zahran, a Jordanian of Palestinian heritage, Zahran attended Southern New Hampshire University, graduatng with two masters. He has served as a strategist for the American Embassy in Amman, reporting to it and the American Embassy in Baghdad until recently. During his time there, Zahran covered major political issues for the embassy. His work has been reported to senior officials in DC, including the Department of State, Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Treasury and DHS.
Mansur is an asociate professor of Political Science at the University of Western Ontario in Canada. He is a columnist for the London Free Press, for the conservative blog Proud To Be Canadian and the Toronto Sun, and has contributed to various publications including National Review, the Middle East Forum, and Frontpagemag. Mansur is a member of the Board of Directors for the Center for Islamic Pluralism based in Washington, D.C., a Senior Fellow with the Canadian Coalition for Democracies, and an academic-consultant with the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C. He has been a consultant with CIDA on development issues and has published widely in academic journals on foreign policy matters and area studies of the Middle East and South Asia.
Zulikyan received his Juris Doctor from Whittier College School of Law in May of 2004 and was admitted to the practice of law in the State of California in June of 2005. He was also admitted to the U.S. District Court in the Central District of California. Zulikyan practices in construction defect litigation and civil litigation. He is a member of the American Bar Association (ABA) and the Orange County Bar Association (OCBA), and identifies himself as a social moderate but a fiscal conservative.
Stephen England is an established author, having penned best-selling works of fiction including Pandora’s Grave, Sword of Neamha, and Nightshade. He became drawn to Islam out of his interest in the Middle East, which he sees as the cradle of civilization, the world of the Bible. It’s been a source of fascination ever since that he frequently delves back into for his writing.
Stephen Suleyman Schwartz
Stephen Schwartz is the Executive Director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism in Washington, DC. He’s a journalist and author of The Other Islam: Sufism and the Road to Global Harmony, The Two Faces of Islam: Saudi Fundamentalism and Its Role In Terrorism, and Sarajevo Rose: A Balkan Jewish Notebook. In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, his extensive and authoritative writings on the phenomenon of Wahhabism established him as one of the leading global experts on Islam, its internal divisions, and its relations with other faiths.
Mr. Schwartz has also developed, among Westerners, a unique position as a confidante of Shia Muslim religious leaders and intellectuals, notably with Iraqis as well as Shias living in the U.S. His investigative reporting on Islamist extremism has led to repeat appearances on Fox News and other TV and radio networks. His articles have been printed in the world’s major newspapers, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Toronto Globe and Mail, and many more. He is a regular contributor to The Weekly Standard and The Spectator [London] as well as to the New York Post and Reforma in Mexico City, and leading periodicals in the Balkans.
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