By Stephen Jewell - New Zealand Herald - Saturday Oct 5, 2013
Subtitled The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, Zealot has whipped up a storm of truly biblical proportions in the United States after a Fox News interviewer accused the Iranian-American of promoting a covert Muslim agenda. However, the book was a popular best-seller before his sensational television appearance and has been translated into about 20 different languages.
"The response has been overwhelmingly positive," he says, struggling to be heard above his toddlers' raucous cries. "I've received hundreds of emails from Christians, who have told me that reading it has empowered their faith and even made them more devout. It has also been embraced by atheists who have told me it confirmed their previously held positions, so I think any book that brings atheists and Christians together has to have something."
Born in Tehran, Aslan moved to America as a 7-year-old after the fall of the Shah in 1979. "I didn't have a religious upbringing," he recalls. "Growing up in Iran, we were culturally Muslim, although my father was a diehard atheist and always looked at religious people with a little bit of suspicion, which is why we left Iran after the revolution.