Is Reza Aslan a Muslim or is he an historian?
If that question makes no sense to you, then watch Reza Aslan's interview with Lauren Green on Fox News.
Throughout the interview, Green apparently finds the two words "Muslim" and "historian" mutually exclusive. After all, you can't be a Muslim and an historian. Or a Muslim and a doctor, for that matter. In fact, in Green's rationale, a Muslim can't be anything except a biased person of flawed world view--like, say, a terrorist.
In fact, she actually states that his views presented in his new book are biased-- and cites flawed statements from Aslan's book, prompting him to ask if she's even read the book.
In the Fox News interview, Green interviews Aslan about his new book, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth.
Her interview questions, however, don't revolve on issues or topics presented in the book. Rather, her interview is bent on the fact that Aslan, a Muslim, wrote a book on Jesus.
"You're a Muslim, so why did you write this book about the founder of Christianity?"
It's almost comical as Aslan's speech becomes slower and slower, almost like he's talking to a child:
“Well, to be clear, I am a scholar of religions with four degrees, including one in the New Testament, and fluency in biblical Greek, who has been studying the origins of Christianity for two decades, who also just happens to be a Muslim,” says Aslan.
But Green still can't seem to wrap her mind around the idea. She looks puzzled as she continues to ask Aslan why he wrote the book. She then asks him if he felt it was necessary to disclose to readers that he was a Muslim-- which if she read the book, she would know that he did in the "Author's note" section of the book, within the first few pages.
It's clear, from the interview, that Green seems oblivious to the fact that Muslims revere Jesus as a prophet of God. In fact, Jesus is one of the most respected figures in Islamic history. His miracles are recognized in the Islamic faith, as is much of his message. And while there's some divergeance in a few key historical points involving Jesus' life and death, he's one of the most important religious figures in Islam.
Nevertheless, Green repeatedly questions Aslan's motive in writing the book, clearly uncomfortable with the notion that a person of one religion can write an unbiased book on another religion.
Here's a list of seven books about religion, written by an author of a different religion. Note that six of these books are about Muslims and written by a non-Muslim.
Other related reading:
What do Muslims Think of Jesus? (Lampost Productions)