Here's an excellent essay by one of my favorite authors. Muslims in the Middle. New York Times, August 16, 2010 William Dalrymple's book, From the Holy Mountain: A Journey Among the Christians of the Middle East, helped inspire my own pilgrimage in 2007. That tale is told in my little e-book, Returning to the Center: Living Prayer in a Distracting Word/The Spiritual Memoir of a Twenty-First Century Pilgrim (available for free download here).
In this essay, Dalrymple explores why the mystic arm of Islam, Sufism, makes a perfect bridge between East and West, moving beyond Islamic, Christian, Jewish, and secular extremism. It's an apt corrective to so much of the mis-information being bandied about today, especially as September 11 draws near once again.