“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]

Share Your Reflection



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!

Yes, I agree. How many times you pray is irrelevant, but what's more important is what's in your heart. If you are told you must pray, that defeats the purpose of having a relationship with the Creator. Many Protestant and Catholics pray during the day, but they are not told when. They do this because they love God Nd are thankful. That is what I don't like about Islam. It's way too controlling. It is also very oppressive.

Hey Jules,

You have absolute no idea what Islam is about. Its a religion of peace contrary to what is publicised by the media. Islam means submitting your will to the will of God, governed by God's rules, which we willingly submit and subscribe to when we accept the kalimah shahada, which is, "There is no God other than the 1 true God and Muhammad (pbuh) is the final messenger of God". God is Most Merciful to all of His entire creation, whether we are Muslim or non Muslim. Muslims are bound by God's "code of conduct", which is the "Shari'ah". Muhammad (pbuh) came as a mercy from God, to teach all of mankind, not just Muslims, God's code of conduct. So if God requires us to at least, a minimum of 5 times per day, serve Him (SWT) in prayer, in unision, right across the globe, if that is His (SWT) request, we don't judge our God, we accept and we obey and we serve. One very important point to mention, one can pray to God the whole day at any given point during the day, however, muslims have been given the 5 daily prayers as a "gift" from God, 1. We do a ritual bodily cleansing called wudhu before we pray, 2. We do it at specific times God has pointed out in the Quran, and 3. What is your frame of mind, and the state of the heart of the person like, who has just engaged with his/her creator, then going back innto society?.. Calmness, Peace.. Amazing isn't it..So, how can God's code of conduct be oppresive and restrictive on mankind?

^That was so articulately put, Sally.

Oz is giving a racist hater of Islam a forum on his television show!!!! If Trump appears on the Dr. Oz show I will not be watching Dr. Oz any longer.