At a time of heightened Islamophobia, Western converts could be the key to bridging cultural barriers and eliminating misconceptions.
Even at the height of the Crusades, Frederick II promoted religious tolerance.
I look forward to the day when American Muslims will be recognized not just by the religion they practice, but for the contributions they make to this nation.
The lesson from yet another attack in France is this: Europe needs to change its approach to terrorism -- and fast.
Despite the increase in threats both perceived and real against American Muslims, I witnessed firsthand my Muslim professor venture into the field in a Southern town rife with political tensions.
"The fact that you have Trump saying one thing and the president doing something else does matter."
As I reflect on the events of this past year and my recent journey studying Islam across Europe, a continent I had come to decades before as a young Pakistani student, I cannot help but think of the dramatic changes in the perception and position of young Muslims in the West.
While bombers and aircraft carriers need to do their stuff, the problem of terrorist-related violence will not be solved by force alone. President Hollande must also engage with his alienated Muslim community with the same determination he has shown in attacking ISIS and win them over.
The Abrahamic faiths can come together. It has happened in history -- Andalusia was, on balance, a time of true interfaith harmony. It happens today in friendships between top scholars and leaders of Judaism and Islam. And it can happen on a global scale.
"The word 'fragmentation' seems to define our times."