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The middle road

Every seat in the auditorium at the University of Houston was taken, and the crowd was standing in the back and spilling out into the lobby, straining to hear. The two men onstage began to speak to the crowd in Arabic, with such flawless accents and rarefied Koranic grammar that some audience members gaped when they heard the Arabic equivalent of the king's English coming from the mouths of two Americans.

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Ting-Li Wang/The New York Times

Sheik Hamza Yusuf at a symposium in New Jersey. Both he and Mr. Shakir are converts to Islam who spent years in the Middle East and North Africa being mentored by formidable Muslim scholars. More Photos »

Sheik Hamza Yusuf, in a groomed goatee and sports jacket, looked more like a hip white college professor than a Middle Eastern sheik. Imam Zaid Shakir, a lanky African-American in a long brown tunic, looked as if he would fit in just fine on the streets of Damascus

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About seekerofsacredilm

The people of knowledge are the heirs of the Prophets and and they inherit knowledge. The one who takes knowledge is taking an ample share. And if someone travels a path in quest of knowledge, Allah will make his path to the Garden

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