I was recently a speaker at a Georgetown University event called “Religious Freedom: Why Now?”—my main interest in attending, however, was not to speak but rather to hear the latest thoughts of two American public intellectuals. I was not disappointed.

At a dinner after the day’s formal proceedings and launch of Timothy Shah’s new book, Professor Robbie George—often called the “most influential conservative Christian thinker” in the United States—aptly introduced his fellow interlocutor, Sheikh Hamza Yusuf Hanson, by saying that although in the United States “public intellectuals” were “often more ‘public’ than ‘intellectual’,” Sheikh Hamza embodied both traits. Indeed, he has been named the “Western world’s most influential Islamic scholar” according to a Jordanian think tank.

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