Reconciliation Or Resistance: Post-Election Dilemma

Nov 23

Huffington Post, November 22, 2016 It will be an understatement to say that the world changed in the wee hours of Wednesday, November 9. For some in America, it marked the beginning of a new dawn as the party and ideology they voted for won and won big — not just winning the presidency, but also both houses of Congress and majority of state legislatures. For...

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The Real Reason Trump Scares Me

Sep 08

Florida Times Union, September 8, 2016 Donald Trump’s speech in Arizona about his signature issue of immigration terrified me. Of particular concern was the perception that anyone who is not in Trump’s image, will be objects of his ire. In a Trump presidency, I have three strikes against me – immigrant, Muslim and brown-skinned. Trump’s slogan of making...

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Trump Is the Face of Modern Fascism

Mar 19

I broke the law. While appearing on a local public radio show, I compared Republican Presidential frontrunner Donald J. Trump to Hitler and fascism. Thereby I violated Godwin’s Law (an internet adage), which states that thou shall not invoke Hitler or fascism in a civil conversation. I am loath to invoke such loaded terms. But Trump makes it both easy and...

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Turkey and India Lurch Towards Illiberal Democracies

Nov 17

Published on Huffington Post, November 13, 2015. Turkey and India are both democracies and significant American allies. Both India and Turkey are secular countries ruled by strong-willed leaders rooted in religion-based politics, Islam for Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Hinduism for India’s Narendra Modi. Both leaders have shown an uncanny ability to...

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Stepping out of My Bubble: An American Muslim’s Journey to Jerusalem

Sep 11

This summer I traveled to Israel and Palestine to be part of the Muslim Leadership Initiative (MLI) organized by a Jerusalem and New York based Jewish educational organization, the Shalom Hartman Institute (SHI). MLI is a groundbreaking program that I felt was going to expand my critical understanding of the complex political, religious, and social factors, which...

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Pluralism in Islam — Between Scripture and Praxis

Aug 02

A version of this article first appeared in the July/August issue of Islamic Horizons. Egyptian writer Mona Eltahawy in a New York Times article recounted her 2005 encounter with Mohammed Akef, the then spiritual leader of Muslim Brotherhood. When she suggested to Akef that the verses in the Quran regarding women’s dress have several interpretations, Akef...

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