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Best-selling author Dr. Ali Shehata will present a lecture on Islam Nov. 10 [MONDAY] at East Central University. He will discuss "Is Islam a Threat to Our Freedom?" at 7 p.m. in the Estep Multimedia Center in the University Center.

Several local Islamic professionals also will be on hand to help answer any questions that may arise from the presentation.

Shehata was born in Maryland in 1975 to parents who had immigrated to the United States from Egypt. He graduated with honors from the University of Central Florida in Orlando with a degree in molecular biology before being accepted into medical school at Midwestern University in Arizona.

He completed his internship in emergency medicine in Columbus, Ohio, and began working in that field. He completed further medical training in Houston, Texas, where he received his board certification in family medicine in 2006.

Shehata currently lives in the central Florida area and continues to practice emergency medicine when he is not furthering his Islamic studies.

Starting in his early 20s, he has also pursued traditional Islamic education at the hands of a number of respected and moderate Islamic teachers throughout the United States and from distinguished teachers from other countries during their periodic visits to the United States. He has received certification (Ijaza) in several Islamic texts including Belief (Aqeedah), Statements of the Prophet Muhammad (Hadith) and Biography of the Prophet Muhammad (Seerah) and is currently in the process of receiving certification in recitation of the Quran.

He has authored two books, one of which, "Demystifying Islam," was on's best-seller Islamic list for three months after its release. He also has written numerous articles on various Islamic issues including Quranic exegesis, Spiritual Purification of the Soul, Islamic worship, Understanding of the Life of the Prophet Muhammad and Hadith commentaries.

He is a frequent public speaker as well as a frequent radio talk show guest on various Islamic issues where he is known for speaking out against religious extremism and condemning terrorism in the name of any religion.

"I hope an increased awareness of what Islam truly stands for will in turn lead to diminished fears, diminished hatred and increased bonds of cooperation between Muslims and non-Muslims," Shehata said.

The lecture is sponsored by Phi Alpha Theta, the American Democracy Project, the Center for the Study of Political Community, and the Islamic Society of Ada and is free and open to the public.

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