In the past decade, Omid Safi has become one of the country’s leading voices in discourse around Islam and Islamophobia.
His public commitments range from writing a weekly column for the public radio program “On Being” to being a go-to expert for national networks like NPR and Al Jazeera.
But at the core of both his public persona and his personal philosophy is a dual commitment to love and justice that started at a very young age. Safi grew up in war-torn Iran, spent the entirety of his third-grade year marching on the streets as part of the revolution.
He later turned to literature and poetry to make sense of his changing surroundings. When things in Iran took a particularly bad turn in the mid-80s, his family moved back to the U.S., and Safi eventually went to college and graduate school at Duke University.
Safi spent the early part of his career studying medieval Islamic history and politics, but after 9/11, he turned his attention toward issues in modern Islam. He has taught at Colgate University and UNC-Chapel Hill, and now serves as the director of Duke University’s Islamic Studies Center. He leads tours to Turkey each summer for both students and community members.
Host Frank Stasio talks with Safi about his life and work.
Resources on Islam From Omid Safi