In September 2006, when I was consulting in a prison in Washington state, an American family invited me to their home for dinner. When I got there, nearly six couples were present, all professionals, intellectually curious, and well-informed. As the conversation started, we first discussed political problems facing the country. Then it suddenly took a new turn and a volley of questions was directed toward me, mostly religious in nature.
These questions primarily focused on three issues:
(1) Is Allah, the God of Muslims, different from the God of Jews and Christians?
(2) Did Islam bring any special message that was not covered by Judaism and Christianity?
(3) What will happen to those people who never heard or accepted the message of Islam?
Being the guest of a very gracious...