Speaking to the themes of his recent bestseller What's Right with Islam, Imam Feisal argues that Islamic principles support the fundamental values of a pluralistic, democratic society. Sharia, or Islamic law, is designed to "protect and further life, religion, property, family and mental well-being," according to the Imam, who points out that these tenets closely parallel the U.S. Constitution's precepts of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
IMAMA FAISAL: ABDUL RAUF: WHAT'S RIGHT WITH ISLAM draws many other parallels between Islam and a free democratic society, all the while emphasizing that there is little in the way of guidance for Muslims in regard to Western cultural issues. One delightful anecdote he provides as a participant in the Temple of Understanding's "Religion in a Global Context" lecture series, is the problem of language. Eskimos, he says, have close to sixty words for snow, words that mean new snow and fresh snow, for example. Muslims have only one word for snow: ice. This leads to the more complex issue of the tendency among Westerners to describe "everything Muslims do as Islamic: our art, architecture, religion, and our criminals." He notes that Westerners don't refer to their society and culture as the "Christian world."