Egyptian author and intellectual Salah Al-Wardani is the founder of an association called "New Discourse," which advocates a universal Islam and the elimination of the Sunni-Shi'ite distinction. Al-Wardani was born to a Sunni family, but in 1985, when he was in his twenties, he converted to Shi'ism and subsequently wrote a great deal in praise of Shi'ism and against Sunni Islam. Twenty-one years later, he declared that he no longer belonged to either sect. In an interview for Al-Masri Al-Yawm, he called on intellectuals to join his association. In explaining his position, he said: "I have now emerged from both circles (Shi'ite and Sunni Islam) into a new circle, or a third tier... I call for a new Islamic discourse based on the Koran and on reason, which transcends the old mindset that is still dominant among the Muslims today... " "I call to rely on modern reason... Islam is not meant to have sects..."