A Convergence of Crises

Aug 18

Trump faces three historic crises at once Published in the Florida Times Union, Aug 9, 2020. by Parvez Ahmed To mitigate the health and economic impact of COVID-19, besides a national testing and contact tracing program, President Donald Trump had to do three things: mandate masks nationwide, institute a near nationwide extended lockdown and provide stimulus money to...

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Rising to meet the moment

Jul 27

An abbreviated version of this appeared as the lead letter in the Florida Times Union, Jun 12, 2020 After acts of racist violence, from the gunning down of worshipers at a Black church by a White Supremacist to the murder of a helpless Black man by police, there have been protests, vigils and marches. And yet no meaningful change came about. But this time could be...

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GOP convention will have minimal economic impact in Jacksonville

Jul 27

Published in the Florida Times Union, Jul 12, 2020. The Texas Medical Association has put out a chart about which activities are most risky during COVID-19 pandemic. The following four were classified as having the highest risk: Attending a large music concert, going to a sports stadium, attending an event (religious) with more than 500 people and going to a bar. If...

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India burns while Trump hugs its president

Mar 28

Guest column: Trump hugs president of India as the nation burns with sectarian violence. Florida Times Union, Mar 8, 2020 An American president visits a foreign capital. During the visit, violence breaks out in the capital city. People die. The White House utters barely a word of concern. This is the new normal in American foreign policy. President Donald Trump has...

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Trump’s Racist Tweets Undermines Historical Progress

Jul 23

A shortened version of this article appeared in the Florida Times Union, July 23, 2019 President Trump’s contention that members of the so called “The Squad”, who are all women of color, with three of them born in the US and the fourth a naturalized citizen, should go back to where they came from is nothing new in the history of America’s racist past. People...

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Repeal Evil with Good

Nov 04

Abbreviated version was published in the Florida Times Union, November 4, 2018 The terrorist attacks in Pittsburgh, which witnessed an anti-Semite mercilessly gunning down 11 Jewish worshippers at the Tree of Life Synagogue has brought renewed anxiety not only to Jews but all minority faith communities. The Muslim community, which like the Jewish community, has been...

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It’s Time to Boycott Saudi Arabia

Oct 16

Patheos altMuslm, October 15, 2018 For Muslims, Makkah, where the Ka’ba is located, is the epicenter of their faith and Madinah, home of the Prophet’s mosque, their sanctuary for spiritual bliss. These two cities happen to be in Saudi Arabia, which is once again in the news for the most chilling of reasons, presenting Muslims with a difficult decision to...

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Do We Still Need the Second Amendment?

Mar 27

Folio Weekly, March 21, 2018 Americans rarely, if ever, agree on anything. But a recent Quinnipiac survey showed that 97 percent support universal background checks for gun ownership. And yet the U.S. Congress remains paralyzed by inaction. The same Quinnipiac survey showed that nearly 7 in 10 Americans want a nationwide ban on assault weapons, including 43...

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Why no action on guns?

Feb 20

Florida Times Union Feb 20, 2018 Following the tragic and violent gun deaths of 17 students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, our home state Sen. Marco Rubio insinuated that gun laws would not have prevented this tragedy. House Speaker Paul Ryan told a radio station, “We need to take a breath and collect the facts.” While Rubio was making a...

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“Allahu Akbar” has been hijacked by terrorists

Feb 20

Florida Times Union, Nov 8, 2017 Terrorists who act in the name of Islam, have misappropriated many legitimate and peaceful actions of Islam. The latest kerfuffle is over the New York terrorist saying “Allahu Akbar” soon after he killed eight and wounded 11, running them over with his rented truck. The phrase “Allahu Akbar” is not found in Islam’s holy...

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Denial of Alt-Right Extremism Led to Charlottesville Tragedy

Sep 02

An abbreviated version appeared in the Florida Times Union, September 2, 2017 A few months ago, I asked a former state legislator, why he failed to cite far-right terrorism as a national security challenge during his panel discussion regarding immigration and refugees. He asked me to cite one evidence of far-right terrorism in America. Oklahoma City. That’s just...

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Trump’s Speech on Afghanistan and Pakistan Signals Unending War

Aug 30

Patheos – Alt-Muslim, August 30, 2017 American elites talk a lot about peace. But what they really love are wars. The media elites covering President Trump’s recent speech on Afghanistan were praiseworthy of Trump’s sober tone even though, in reality, the speech heralded open-ended war. No troop levels were announced. No timeline was provided. No one...

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Trump Speech to Muslims in Saudi Arabia Misses the Mark

May 27

A version of this editorial appeared in the Florida Times Union, May 27, 2017 President Trump’s uncharacteristically monotonic speech to a gathering of Muslim leaders in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, went off without any gaffes, to the great satisfaction of his advisers. Trump’s speech was similar to that of President Obama in Cairo, eight years ago. Both Trump and...

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The crisis of democracy in Turkey and Egypt

Apr 28

A 2012 survey by the Pew Research Center found that 71 percent of people in Turkey and 67 percent in Egypt prefer a democratic form of government. And yet when it came time to vote, people used the ballot box to favor authoritarian leaders – Abdel Fattah el-Sissi in Egypt and Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey. Democracy is not just the will of the majority, it is...

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The Curious Case of India’s Secularism

Apr 28

Growing up in India, I had taken India’s secularism for granted. Not just secularism of the state but also pluralism in society. It was not unusual for my Hindu friends to visit my home during Eids and I looked forward to visiting their homes during Pujas. Several of my family members married Hindus and although it did create moments of awkwardness, in general,...

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