Eboo Patel is founder and executive director of the Interfaith Youth Core, a Chicago-based international nonprofit that promotes interfaith cooperation. His blog, The Faith Divide, explores what drives faiths apart and what brings them together. He is also author of Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation (Beacon Press, 2007).

Posts By This Author

What Makes for Sacred Ground?

by Eboo Patel 07-01-2012

If the forces of pluralism don’t write the next chapter in the American story, the forces of prejudice will.

College Students Find Life 'Better Together'

by Eboo Patel 05-01-2012

Gathering people from different faiths to serve others is one way of living out the command of Jesus to offer comfort to the afflicted.

A Different Kind of Atheism

by Eboo Patel 03-01-2012

Chris Stedman's "faitheism" doesn't hate God, it loves people.

When Faith is Attacked

by Eboo Patel 01-01-2012

It was not the stones thrown by his tormentors that made him suffer most, he said; it was the silence of his friends.

The Roots of Terror

by Eboo Patel 11-01-2011

The Oslo shooter took inspiration from America's own anti-Muslim rightists.

Remembering 9/11 Through Music and Literature

by Eboo Patel 09-09-2011

Ten years on, I'm remembering the literature I read and the music that kept me going in the days and months after 9/11. I had Rumi and Whitman on my bedside table, reading them back to back, alternating between selections of the Mathnawi and poems from Leaves of Grass, sometimes feeling like the two were one, the soul of America, and that the soul of Islam were intersecting at some point beyond where the eye could see:

Whoever you are!, motion and reflection are especially for you, The divine ship sails the divine sea for you. -- Walt Whitman

Come, come, whoever you are, Wanderer, worshipper, lover of leaving, Ours is not a caravan of despair. Even if you have broken your vows a thousand times It doesn't matter Come, come yet again, come. -- Rumi

Until then, the Quran for me was a book of personal spiritual guidance, a convening symbol for my religious community. But after 9/11, I viewed it as a balm for my country's pain, especially lines from Ayat al-Kursi: "His throne extends over the heavens and the earth, and He feels no fatigue in guarding and preserving them."

Partnering for a New Beginning

by Eboo Patel 08-01-2011

The fate of the 21st century will be decided by civic leader-to-civic leader relations in a global context.

Beyond Guilt by Association

by Eboo Patel 06-03-2011

Mainstream Muslims detest the infection of radicalization far more than do other people.

Newt Gingrich: A Catholic Running Against Islam?

by Eboo Patel 05-19-2011
Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker and high-profile conservative intellectual, announced that he is officially in the running for the Republican nomination for president.

Democrary in the Balance

by Eboo Patel 04-01-2011

The whole idea of democracy is that the setiments of our fellow citizens have power; we put ourselves in each other's hands.

How Tolerance is Built

by Eboo Patel 02-01-2011

When Pastor Terry Jones threatened to burn Qurans at his church in Florida this fall, he hurt a lot of Muslims I know. He also hurt a lot of Christians.

Better Together

by Eboo Patel 12-01-2010

When the forces of intolerance rear their ugly heads, the forces of inclusion go into action.

Campuses Take the Lead

by Eboo Patel 09-01-2010
College campuses have been in the vanguard of most major social movements.

The Stranger as Neighbor

by Eboo Patel 08-01-2010
For David Fraccaro, the immigration debate isn't just politics: It's faith.

Free Speech vs. Fundamentalist Islam?

by Eboo Patel 05-11-2010
A few days back, small groups of college students at Northwestern,http://uiucatheists.bl

Building a Movement

by Eboo Patel 05-01-2010
Movements don't fall from the sky—they're built by people.

Have you ever been to a college campus at 8 a.m.? It looks like a ghost town. And usually an invitation to come out at that hour is synonymous with pressing the snooze button. So what motivated a thousand people to stand together outside Stanford University’s Taube Hillel House that early on a Friday morning?

Westboro Baptist Church—an extremist group known for spouting hate speech—had posted on its Web site plans to march in front of Hillel House at Stanford. Making good on their promise that January morning, six members of the church stood holding signs with anti-Semitic and anti-gay slogans. They shouted hateful jeers at students and passers-by.
But a few feet away stood nearly 1,000 members of the Stanford community—students, faculty, and staff from more than 20 religious and cultural clubs on campus. They came together to celebrate their diversity in the face of those who would try to tear them apart. The power of the gathering wasn’t lost on anyone—partway through the event, a young man stumbled out of a nearby dorm, awakened by the noise of the group. A few minutes later, he re-emerged, playing a solo of “Amazing Grace” on his bagpipes.
However good the cause, however ugly the provocation, a thousand people don’t naturally rise from their beds to promote a positive value. Somebody has to rouse them. Somebody has to be the alarm clock.

Imagining a New Way

by Eboo Patel 03-01-2010

'Instead of driving us apart, our varied beliefs can bring us together.'

Beyond Barrier, Bubble, or Bomb

by Eboo Patel 01-01-2010

My friend April grew up a church girl. She attended Bible camp and Sunday school, sang Christian songs, and went on mission trips.

Back from Retreat, Ready for Action

by Eboo Patel 11-01-2009

The Muslim month of fasting, Ramadan, is over. For me, as for other Muslims, it has been challenging, and beautiful. But the purpose of the month—retreat—is not meant to last forever.

An Interfaith Movement Against Malaria

by Eboo Patel 08-01-2009

In the Quran, it is written, “And anyone who saves a life, it shall be as if he saved the lives of all the people.”