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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