By Nadine Hasenecz

Wajahat Ali received a standing ovation for his dry humor-infused pre-luncheon keynote “How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to be a Moderate Muslim” Saturday at the Religion Communicators Council’s 2017 annual convention in Chicago.

As creative director of Affinis Labs, Ali creates social entrepreneurship initiatives for marginalized communities. In addition, he’s a TV host, consultant to the U.S. State Department and lead author of the Center for American Progress’ “Fear, Inc.” investigative report.

“I am an American Muslim of Pakistani descent – nothing helps one’s popularity more than saying that,” quipped the California-born son of immigrants, referring to the U.S.’ post-9/11 climate of Islamophobia.

“In all seriousness,” he added, “if you remember one thing from my talk today, it’s that if you aren’t writing your story, your story is always being written for you or told to you by others.”

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