Faisal Saeed al-Mutar was born in Iraq and admitted to the United States as a refugee in 2013. While in Iraq, Al-Qaeda attempted to kidnap Al Mutar three times because of his secular western lifestyle and lost members of his family to sectarian violence. He is the founder and CEO of Ideas Beyond Borders and the Global Secular Humanist Movement (GSHM). In 2016, Al Mutar received the President’s Volunteer Service Award from President Barack Obama for his commitment to volunteer service in America and around the world.
Recreating the Enlightenment Movement in the Muslim world was the title of the speech at the University of Oklahoma on April 2nd 2018. The speech started with Al Mutar explaining the geopolitical dynamics of the middle east and the cold war happening between Saudi Arabia and Iran as one of the pressing issues facing the region right now.
He proposed the solution to end sectarian conflicts is to empower real moderates and recreate the project from the 13th century golden age that started in the capital city of the Muslim world (Baghdad), where Mr. Al Mutar is from. The discussion went further into what would be the best approaches to reach out Muslim youth with multiple questions from the audience, and notably, a question from professor of religion and politics Allen D. Hertzke, an audience member, who questioned if reformed Islam or Atheism are better in terms of changing the hearts and minds.