Ismail Royer's journey to a job researching and writing about religious freedom began in a U.S. prison. He had pled guilty to weapons charges after being linked to a militant group in Pakistan.
His more than 13 years behind bars gave him a chance to think, to talk, to study and to think some more about practicing a dangerous, deadly version of Islam. He was still a Muslim when he was released, but he was changed.
"I saw that Islam was a lot deeper than the narrow view I had," he said.
Today, Royer is part of a growing movement of scholars and activists working to save the global Muslim community from its association with terrorism. These leaders reject organizations such as the Islamic State group that promote violence in the name of Allah and work to defeat them with teachings from the same collection of texts.