“I’ve struggled a lot with my Muslim identity. … As a Turk growing up in America with one parent from one side of the religious wall and one from the other side, I found myself tugged more and more towards the spiritual side of the religion rather than the legal side of the religion.”

Dr. Mehmet Oz at ServiceNation SummitThe popular heart surgeon and television personality Dr. Mehmet Oz is a spiritual man who is hard to classify, religiously speaking. We learned that back in 2004 when we interviewed him. He spoke with Krista at some length about his Muslim faith and about the value he finds in his wife’s Swedenborgian tradition.

But, this excerpt from the PBS series Faces of America with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., digs deeper into Oz’s personal identity by asking about his family’s divergent approaches to Islam. Through Oz’s telling of his own family history, we learn some history about Turkey and its geography, and the immigrant experience in the United States.

Oz’s mother walks in the line of many proud, modern Turks who are secular Muslims, approaching faith as a private practice that is separated or divorced from public and political institutions. Whereas, for his father, religion and law were inseparable and, according to Oz, they were “obviously and beautifully and elegantly integrated.”

Listening to his story, I wonder whether he might be classified as part of the demographic that’s been polled and reported on so much lately: the spiritual but not religious generation.

(photo: Jim Gillooly/PEI/Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons)

[via almaswithinalmas]


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10Reflections

Reflections

Oz is immensely articulate. I appreciate his understanding and expression of his history and how well he distinguishes, in his own mind, religion from spirituality.

I appreciate how he grounds his explanations and connects the dots. So understandable.

Dr Oz is just born a Muslim, i doubt he practises it, like pray five times a day, doesnt consume pork, wine and the likes. A true Muslim must marry someone of their religion and faith. His wife is a Protestant. Looks like Dr Oz is just another one of the "accidental" Muslims in the world.

You have no right to judge him like that. Thats completely opposite of what islam teaches us.

HI Nadia

who told you DR Oz dont pray five time a day? are you married to him? he is muslim period.

Hi Nadia

another comment, yes you can marry a protestant if you are muslim, my uncle is muslim and he is married to swiss women, go educate yourself

Hey Nadia before you speak search the web or ask a sheikh = sort of like a priest in Christianity ..I'm a born Muslim in Chicago went to elementary school and was raised in America proudly I pray 5 times a day people like you judge me that I'm Americanized to the point where I'm just Muslim by name unfortunately it turns out to be the opposite .

Edin Dzeko just praying in one times a day, so ... maybe dr. oz like that's too .. he is very busy to do that

People please...it's not only Muslims who pray several times throughout the day..I am Armenian and Norwegian and Armenian from Turkey, where there used to be many Armenians before they were massacred...we can be found in every country. I know quite a few Turkish people who know their history and it is a vast country with many historical influences! There are Catholics who pray many times throughout the day so people cannot judge a person on their personal relationship with their Creator.

you are correct!

apples