Ask A Muslim: What Is True Islam?

what is true islam? 

Ask A Muslim, the monthly series organized by The Markaz and Muslims for Progressive Values (MPV), presents an opportunity for an honest discussion about Islam on Sun., Nov. 13 at 5:30 pm.

Hate crimes against Muslims in Los Angeles have escalated in recent months, with the LA Times reporting that such incidents have increased by 122% in 2015 alone. With the toxic media and political narrative of Muslims feeding into this vitriolic atmosphere, it is time we come together for an open and honest discussion about Islam.

What is true Islam? Who practices true Islam? Where do the extremists find the basis for their beliefs, and how have groups like ISIS perverted a long and steady religious tradition? And finally, how do we combat the atmosphere of violence and hate that has befallen our Muslim compatriots? Join us as we discuss these questions and more in our next Ask A Muslim panel discussion at the Founders Metropolitan Community Church, 4607 Prospect Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027.

Moderated by MPV’s Director of Communications, Crystal Keshawarz, we welcome Arabic scholar, PBS writer/producer and author David Stansfield, to discuss the research in his book, Islam vs. ISIS: Why the True Islam is the Exact Opposite of ISIS. Professor Kenyatta Bakeer-Allgood, a scholarly pillar of the Los Angeles Muslim community, will join us to discuss solutions to ending the toxic narrative of Islam as well as her perspectives on what constitutes “true Islam.”

This panel is free and open to the public. Sun., Nov. 13th, 5:30 pm, at the Founders Metropolitan Community Church. Free street and nearby paid lot parking. RSVP below. 

Ask A Muslim is a monthly series launched in 2016 that is free and open to the public. Ask A Muslim addresses some of the most pressing questions surrounding Islam today. In a time when Islam is the subject of much discussion and controversy in the media, Ask A Muslim hopes to foster an ongoing open dialogue, in a safe space for debate, and promote a more informed understanding of Arab/Muslim cultures. 

Presented by the The Markaz and Muslims for Progressive Values. Sponsored in part by the A & A Fund and Bana & Nabil Hilal. 

The Markaz is L.A.’s Arts Center for the Greater Middle East, where arts and peace give voice to our dreams for peace. 

MPV’s mission is to embody and be an effective voice of the traditional Qur’anic ideals of human dignity, egalitarianism, compassion and social justice.


David Stansfield—Born in England, David has spent most of his career as an educator and educational television writer-producer in Canada and the United States. He has written and produced some four hundred television scripts for TV Ontario in Canada, PBS, the Discovery Channel, NHK, Encyclopedia Britannica, and Time-Life. His TV productions have been translated into more than a dozen languages and have won over fifty international film and television awards, including the nomination of “The Middle East” series for the Best Educational Documentary category of the 1987 Academy Awards. He has also served as Media Delegate to the Gulf States in the Middle East for the Ontario Government. His book, Islam vs. ISIS, was endorsed by Khizr Khan, who said,  “This is an exceptionally well presented, timely, and much needed work. As I read it I gain light and grace from it. Thank you, David. You inspire me, you are our hero. May your pen have more power and you have peace, health, and success.”

Kenyatta Baker-Allgood—Born and raised in Los Angeles, Kenyatta hails from a family that has been instrumental in building the foundation of Islam in Los Angeles. Her parents were both educators who helped start and taught in Mohammad Schools and Sister Clara Muhammad Schools. Kenyatta holds a BA in Child Development and an MA in Early Childhood Education. She is in the initial stages of beginning her PhD in interreligious studies at Bayan Claremont Institute. Kenyatta currently serves as a Child Development Professor for the Los Angeles Community College District and National University as well as a consultant for child care centers and programs. She and her husband Marcus are members of LA Voice, an interfaith organization that has over 55 congregations that have been instrumental in changing Los Angeles for the better. They were successful in passing Proposition 47, which reduces 6 low level felonies to misdemeanors and gives people resources to help them in their overall life. Kenyatta is a Khateebah for The Women’s Mosque of America, and she serves as a member of the SoCal Muslim/Jewish Forum.

Crystal Keshawarz (Moderator)—Crystal is MPV’s Director of Communications, and combatting Islamophobia through peacemaking has been a key motivation in her work with the organization. She recently collaborated with Local Progress to present a referendum to end Islamophobia to West Hollywood’s City Council, which passed with a unanimous vote. Her work to bring MPV and its community partners together for a solidarity march and peace rally in Los Angeles was featured in Upworthy, and this December she will host the first international conference of Afghan Women in the Diaspora in London. She attended Arizona State University where she studied Political Science and International Studies. 


  • November 13, 2016 at 5:30pm – 7:30pm
  • Founders Metropolitan Community Church, 4607 Prospect Ave, Los Angeles CA 90027
  • 9 people are going
  • Crystal Keshavarz

Durainaz Farooqui Allan Gluck Sameemd Lauren Shulamit Marcus

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  • Durainaz Farooqui
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