Islam is about making this a better world, but it’s supposed to be for everyone. When Mohammed wrote Medina’s Charter, he made it include everybody regardless of their race or religion
Allan Maki talks to Dr. David Liepert
Have you always been Muslim or did you convert?
I was raised an evangelical Lutheran. My dad was Lutheran. I converted to being a Baptist … I made a lot of Muslim friends and I intended to convert them to Christianity. But I learned Islam means submission; Muslim meant being a servant … I realized I was Muslim. I’m a servant of God. It wasn’t just the religion; it was a relationship. That is why I founded the Calgary Islamic Chamber Institute, for improving dialogue, relationships, networking and strategic alliances.
What would you say to people who hear the word Muslim and right away think of terrorism?
Islam is about making this a better world, but it’s supposed to be for everyone. When Mohammed wrote Medina’s Charter, he made it include everybody regardless of their race or religion: everyone who wanted to be part of his society was included, welcomed just as they were. And that’s the way we’re supposed to be everywhere: when bad things happen, it’s supposed to bring us together … Look at Cold Lake [where the local mosque was recently vandalized and spray painted with a message, ‘Go home’]. People put up a big sign that said, ‘You are home.’ That’s Mohammed’s Islam, and that’s Canada.
This interview has been edited and condensed