Dr. Roger (or Rajaa) Garaudy is a contemporary Muslim thinker, author and philosopher. He was born in Marseille (France) in 1913. He holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the Sorbonne and a Ph.D. in Science from Moscow University.
During World War II, Garaudy was taken as a prisoner of war in Algiers. Following his release, he was elected to the French Parliament. At that time, he was a member of the French Communist Party. In the 1970’s he tried to reconcile Roman Catholicism with Marxism, and was dismissed from the Communist Party. He was elected to the French Senate in 1970.
Dr. Garaudy became interested in religions as early as 1945, and was fascinated by the historical role of Islam and the Islamic civilization. He read several translated books on Islam and the interpretation of the Quran, while his Palestinian wife assisted him in reading and translating some Arabic resources, particularly texts dealing with Muslim heritage. However, it was not until 1982 that he converted to Islam.
Garaudy is the founder and President of the International Institute for Debate Between Civilizations and a member of the Moroccan Academy and the Jordanian Royal Academy for Research on Islamic Civilization. He published scores of scholarly papers and more than 50 books, including Debate Between Civilizations, A Warning to The Living, How Man became Man, Islam Lives in Our Future, Islam and Integrity, Mosque, the Mirror of Islam and Mohammad of Islam. Most of his books were translated into at least 10 languages.
He died in Paris on the 13th June 2012.