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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America needs a real policy regarding Syria

Apr 17

A version of this was published in the Florida Times Union on April 10, 2017 How do you solve a problem like Syria? First, by being honest. This maybe the greatest humanitarian tragedy of our lifetime. Earlier this month, the number of Syrian refugee crossed 5 million with half of those being children. A conflict that began in March 2011 with ordinary Syrians...

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Turkey’s Unethical Interference in American Civic Society is Dangerous

Apr 10

Patheos, April 6, 2017 I serve on the board of Atlantic Institute of Jacksonville, whose mission is to promote diversity and inclusion through engagement and dialogue. Atlantic Institute was founded by members of the Hizmet (Service) movement led by Fethullah Gulen, who lives a reclusive life in Pennsylvania. Turkey wants Gulen extradited because of his alleged but...

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An Un-Presidential Speech

Apr 10

Huffington Post, March 1, 2017 Moments after Donald Trump’s first speech to Congress, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, and CNN commentator Van Jones, a Democrat, both declared the speech as “presidential.” If the dictionary definition of presidential as “having a bearing or demeanor befitting a president; dignified and confident” is...

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Trump’s “Extreme Vetting” Undermines National Security

Feb 13

A President who received only 46 percent of the votes and currently stands at 36 percent approval ratings, has undone what the past two President’s assiduously avoided – signal to the world that America is at war with Islam, not just radicals who want to do us harm. Trump’s executive order approving “extreme vetting” that blocks visitors from seven...

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Failing to Stand Up for the Vulnerable

Feb 13

Following Donald Trump’s executive order banning immigration from 7 predominately Muslim countries and issuing a moratorium on most refugees, except for Syrian refugees who are banned indefinitely, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said, “There are terrorists in other countries who want to kill us and have leveraged a weak vetting system to do so.” Such...

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